NBCUniversal in January, 2019 announced that it would be planning to launch a new online streaming service. This streaming service would provide its users with one of the world-class premium content absolutely free. It is yet to be named but would be a tough competition to the other streaming services. This also means that there would be more tie ups in terms of advertiser and distributor partnership. This streaming service would be led by Bonnie Hammer and is dated to be launched in the early 2020. This new streaming service would provide a large library content of NBCUniversal since it would reach to more than 90million US households. It would also feature some of the most popular television shows and movies including some of the original programming content.
This would be an ad-supported service and it would be available at zero cost to the NBCUniversal’s Pay TV subscribers who are present in the US as well as some of the major international markets. Sky and Comcast are planning to provide this new service to its 50million subscribers. They would also provide an ad-free version of the streaming service but it would be charged some minimal fee. Also any non-pay TV users can also get access to this service however they would need to pay for it. The subscription charges would be likely close to $12 per month. The subscribers of Sky and Comcast also have the option to go in for either the free version or the pay version since there would no ads in the pay version. This announcement would mean a tough competition to the yet to be launched streaming services such as Disney and the ones which are popular in the market such as Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime and few others.
As per the CEO of NBCUniversal, most of the popular shows that are watched on these streaming services come from the studios of NBCUniversal. They have also claimed that this new service would be different than the other service that are already present in the market and it would be mostly built on the core strengths of the company. The new service would be a combination of technological expertise and unique content. They are planning of a wider distribution to the mass audience.
As per CEO Steven Burke, the audience of today are smarter. There has been a rise in premium content since this is the demand of the mass audience. Apart from premium content, they also need more value for their money as well as flexibility. NBCUniversal is exactly what the audience is asking for, they have perfectly positioned their content so as to offer a wide variety of choice targeting certain age groups. This streaming service from NBCUniversal would be offering its subscribers with original programming. Few of the hit shows such as, The Good Place and 30 Rock would be streaming through this service. However, few of the other popular series such as Friends and ER which were a hit in the 90s would not be streamed since they are technically owned by Warner Bros.
NBCU is planning of making use of the upcoming broadcast of the Olympic Games in 2020. As per the CEO, the consumers would get used to three to four service bundles and NBC has hopes of building up their profit by targeting the right audience. They have also carried out testing certain subscription video on demand in the past. But it did not work out so well. However, with this new project that would be turning out to be a large scale one, they are planning in on drawing more number of subscribers to their service. One of the good reason for this jump could be Disney announcing its new ESPN+ and also the soon to be launched Disney+ as venturing into this business. The traditional media were one part of the content to some of the major players in this industry such as Netflix or Amazon however now they have realised that allowing others to make use of their popular content would mean taking the viewers away from the electronic clutches.
Though NBC would continue to sell certain content to few other platforms and studios but certain major content would be aired on their own streaming service. The launch of these new services would mean a big threat to the existing streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and others. They have dominated the market for quite a while now. If NBC pulls out on the popular shows from these services, then it would mean losing their valuable subscribers.
There is no
looking back for NBCUniversal, they are prepping on to launch their service
with a bang. For the consumers it would mean that now the choices have widened.
Though there would be a confusion as to which ones to go in for but with clever
choices, it would be a win win situation for the consumers.