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Peacock is putting its bird back in the cage.
According to an updated signup page for the NBCUniversal streaming service, new users no longer have the option to create a free account to access more than 10,000 hours of content on Peacock. Instead, as of this week users must choose between Peacock’s $4.99 a month ad-supported plan or its $9.99 a month ad-free plan. The direct link to create a free account also redirects to the same signup page that prompts users to choose between the two paid plans.
Existing users with free accounts will continue to have access to the free tier.
A representative for NBCUniversal said the update is reflective of Peacock’s focus on its premium plans and the influx of programming this year, which includes originals like the Natasha Lyonne-starring Poker Face and live sports.
The subscription update, which took place Monday and was first spotted by The Streamable, represents a major turnaround for Peacock, which has marketed its free tier — complete with the tagline “free as a bird” — to differentiate itself from its streaming competitors.
Peacock said last week it crossed 20 million paid subscribers but expects losses, which amounted to $2.5 billion in 2022, to widen to $3 billion this year. The streamer also made its debut on Nielsen’s The Gauge, accounting for 1 percent of all TV viewing time in December but falling behind competitors like Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Prime Video and HBO Max.
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