Peacock Shuts Off Free Tier for New Accounts

The $5 a month Premium tier with ads is now the cheapest option for new customers.

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Peacock has dropped its free streaming option for new customers signing up for the NBCUniversal streaming service, a move that will prioritize its $5- and $10-a-month memberships going forward. 

Peacock eliminated its free, ad-supported tier for any new accounts as of Monday, according to a person familiar with the matter. The free tier still exists if you already have a Peacock account, the person added. Anyone who's been watching Peacock free with ads will be able to continue streaming that way, and people with a paid membership can step down to the free, limited version of the service if they decide to stop paying.

The change was reported earlier Tuesday by The Streamable.

Peacock launched in 2020 in the middle of a flood of new streaming services from tech and media giants, including Disney Plus, Apple TV Plus, Paramount Plus and HBO Max. Peacock was the only service to offer a free tier.

Previously, Peacock had three tiers: a limited, basic one that was free, an all-inclusive one that's $5 a month with ads, called Premium, and an all-inclusive one that's $10 a month without ads, called Premium Plus. The free tier limited how much you could watch, and the most-sought-after programming was behind a paywall. 

Popular shows like Yellowstone required a paid subscription, as did the newest movies, most episodes of Peacock's originals and live sports like Premier League matches, but the limited free tier had access to roughly two-thirds of Peacock's total catalog.