Peacock's Android app is live, Google Play Store snafu hid it from searches

Peacock's Android app went live, but was missing from Google Play Store search for hours, complicating Peacock's rollout with a major promo partner.

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Joan E. Solsman
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Peacock launched in the US on Wednesday. 

Angela Lang/CNET

For the company that rules search, Google complicated the Android app launch of Peacock, a streaming service from Comcast's NBCUniversal, Wednesday, when the Google Play Store failed to show the app in search results for much of the app's launch day.

Android's Peacock app published overnight in the Google Play Store as planned, and it was available to download if you had a link to find it. But the app wasn't returned in Play Store searches for terms like "Peacock" or "Peacock TV" until Wednesday afternoon 

The Google Play Store snafu complicated a major promotion Peacock struck with Google, allowing anyone who subscribed to Peacock's paid, premium tier through a Google platform like Android to unlock an extended free trial.

Spokeswomen for both Peacock and Google confirmed that the Peacock app published to the Google Play Store overnight. 

"We do not have control over when platforms release and surface the app to their users, but the app is now live," Peacock's spokeswoman said. "We have a large marketing and promotional plan with Google, which you will see across Google platforms starting today."

The Google spokeswoman later Wednesday confirmed that the Peacock app had started appearing in search results. 

In rival Apple's App Store, the Peacock app for Apple streaming devices like the iPhone was being heavy promotion. Peacock is the top ad when you opened the App Store in the Today tab Wednesday morning, and it's getting top billing as a world premiere in the App Store's App tab too. 

Competing with the likes of NetflixDisney Plus and HBO Max, Peacock is the last big new service to roll out in the so-called streaming wars, when a flood of services spilled out from tech and media giants over a roughly seven-month period. More than just jockeying between megacorporations, these battles could not only determine who shapes the future of television but also how many services you'll have to use -- and, often, pay for -- to watch your favorite shows. In the case of Peacock, it means even traditional TV networks and cable companies like Comcast are placing big bets that they'll never be able to turn the tide of cord-cutting. 

Peacock launched Wednesday with an always-free tier that lets you sample about two-thirds of its library of shows and movies with advertising, as well as a seven-day free trial for its premium tiers. Peacock Premium, which unlocks the full catalog, is $5 a month or $50 a year with advertising, or you can upgrade to an ad-free version for $10 a month or $100 a year. 

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