Good news for Peacock subscribers, with 2023 kicking off, most films from Universal Pictures, Illumination and DreamWorks Animation, and Focus Features will exclusively stream on Peacock 45 days after their theatrical releases.
This move is intended to give a necessary boost to the streamer through the films made by its corporate sibling, revealed the Comcast Corp.-owned streamer on Thursday, December 09, 2021.
The usual gap between a film’s debut in theaters and its availability on streaming services or pay-TV has been somewhere between eight to nine months. However, through this mega-deal, movies will be available to subscribers for streaming much earlier than usual.
The movie schedule for 2023 will include “The 355,” a drifting spy thriller starring Penélope Cruz, Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, and Diane Kruger; “Ticket To Paradise,” featuring fan-favorite George Clooney and Julia Roberts; “The Black Phone” featuring Ethan Hawke; “Marry Me” with Owen Wilson and pop icon Jennifer Lopez; as well as new films from DreamWorks Animation including “Downton Abbey: A New Era,” “The Bad Guys,” “Halloween Ends,” and a new thriller from Michael Bay named “Ambulance.”
However, not all Universal films will adopt the new 45-day streaming model. For instance, “Jurassic World: Dominion,” will come to the streaming service 120 days after its release. Another such exception is “Oppenheimer,” the next film by Christopher Nolan, who strongly advocates traditional moviegoing.
After hitting Peacock, the subscribers will enjoy a 4-month run of movies, before all the titles jump to Amazon Prime Video for 10 months. In September, the CFO of Comcast, Michael Cavanagh stated, “Innovation around ‘windowing’ is sort of going to be part of what makes us successful over time, we believe.”
As a subscriber of Peacock with US or as somebody who watches Peacock TV outside US, what you need to know, is simple: starting in 2023, you will get the foremost opportunity to stream Universal Filmed Entertainment Group films, whose forthcoming releases include anything under the umbrellas of Focus Features, Universal Pictures, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment, and DreamWorks Animation Film and Television. The goal here, it appears, is providing a push to Peacock towards real success by loading it with Universal potential hits while also allowing the company to make a profit by selling the streaming rights to other outlets after the initial four-month window is over on Peacock.
As a matter of fact, Peacock has experimented in the past with early exclusive film debuts on a subscription tier, making “Halloween Kills” and “The Boss Baby: Family Business” available to subscribers at the same time as the films premiered in theaters.
Launched last year, Peacock offers a free ad-supported plan and a premium plan starting from $5/month. In the latest quarter, Jeff Shell, NBCUniversal Chief Executive revealed that Peacock managed to add “a few million” monthly active subscribers. The company had previously made it public that it had 54 million new sign-ups and approximately 20 million active users.
The new strategy from Peacock clearly indicates that the streamer wants to compete in the battle for streaming hegemony, as several media and entertainment companies are throwing out old business models.
Peacock made this deal to get in the mainstream and strategize as other companies in the entertainment industry like WarnerMedia are entitled to supply their movies only to HBO Max and Disney, and the streamer will further distribute them among its streaming services, Disney Plus and Hulu. Having this kind of release of movies on streaming services has benefitted WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, which got the Warner Bros. movies streaming at the same time as their theater releases this year. Other big companies like Sony and Liongate are giving out their movies at a strategy of the highest price offered.
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“As we continue investing in the most valued and sought-after content for Peacock, films are essential to that mix,” says Kelly Campbell in a statement, the President of Peacock who recently joined from Walt Disney Co.-owned Hulu. “The team at Universal Filmed Entertainment Group are fantastic partners and we are excited to bring their amazing slate of blockbuster films and beloved franchises to Peacock as early as 45 days after their theatrical release, and provide a steady stream of fresh, original films exclusively for Peacock customers throughout the year.” He added furthermore.“As we continue investing in the most valued and sought-after content for Peacock, films are essential to that mix.”
As last year the COVID-19 affected the theatrical releases so much, Universal Pictures made deals with a few huge theater companies that gave the rights to studios to release the movies on their platform as well, to share the revenue. These deals allowed them to release movies online for renting after a small window of time, 17 days, of their theatrical release. The bigger films were released after a 30 days window of time. These deals will remain intact despite the Peacock TV deal.
As the battles for streaming dominance continue to intensify, this new 45-day model from Peacock can prove to be a trump card for the streaming platform by NBC. Amid pandemic and health concerns, the traditional moviegoers are also opting for a convenient streaming solution without having to wait for long and Peacock has obliged its subscribers accordingly.