NBCU's Peacock Adds Launch Sponsors Ahead of Debut

Courtesy of Jason Hoffman/Peacock

NBCUniversal says that Verizon, Subaru, Capital One, Molson Coors and L'Oreal have signed on for the streaming service, which is set to soft launch for some Comcast subscribers Wednesday.

The coronavirus pandemic is leading to a significant contraction in the advertising business, but that isn't stopping new ad deals from getting done, particularly as consumers spend more time at home watching video services.

And with a handful of high-profile streaming launches lined up in the first half of 2020, some brands are looking to get on board early to lock in prime advertising space.

NBCUniversal says that Verizon, Subaru, Capital One, Molson Coors and L'Oreal have signed on as launch sponsors for its streaming service Peacock, which is set to soft launch for some Comcast subscribers Wednesday.

Those brands join Target, Unilever, State Farm and Apartments.com, which were announced as launch sponsors for Peacock earlier this year. The launch sponsors will work with NBCUniversal to help develop new ad formats for streaming video through what the company is calling the "Peacock Streaming Council."

NBCUniversal ad sales chairman Linda Yaccarino said at the event that the launch sponsors have collectively committed "hundreds of millions of dollars" to Peacock.

At its launch event, the company highlighted a number of ad formats in development, such as "explore" ads that appear when a viewer pauses a show, and new ad concepts like voice-activated call-to-action ads.

Advertising is a particularly important piece of the Peacock puzzle, as the company is banking on the streaming service being free and ad-supported to many consumers. There will be a free tier with selected content for everyone, a premium ad-supported tier with the full library for $4.99 per month, and an ad-free tier at a higher price point. The premium ad-supported tier will be free to Comcast cable subscribers and subscribers to some other pay-TV providers.

Peacock is forging ahead with a strategy similar to that of Disney’s Hulu: offering a low-cost streaming video option with the goal of driving revenue from advanced advertising offerings.

The company is hoping that its launch sponsors will help drive its digital advertising business forward.