Peacock shutters free tier for new customers — plans now start at $5 a month

The Peacock app
(Image credit: Future)

If you want to start subscribing to Peacock, the streaming service owned by NBCUniversal, you’re going to have to pay for it from now on. It’s been confirmed (via TechCrunch) that Peacock’s free tier has been virtually shut down. That means anyone who isn't already on that plan can't sign up for it.

According to an NBC spokesperson, Peacock will be shifting its focus onto its Premium plans to try and stay competitive in the ever-growing streaming market. The free tier isn’t going away completely, though. Users already subscribed to the plan won’t be affected, while premium customers that cancel their subscription will be automatically downgraded to the free tier. 

It’s only new customers who will be affected, and forced to choose between the $5-a-month ad-supported tier or the $10-a-month ad-free subscription. Though the premium options may be the better choice for anyone hoping to watch a decent amount of content.

The Peacock Free tier offers access to over 7,500 hours of content, including movies, news and classic shows. But that’s around half of what’s on offer with the Premium tiers, and your viewing options are limited. Movies, classic shows and news are available, alongside a selection of active NBCU seasons and Peacock Original content.

Meanwhile, both Premium tiers offer full seasons of current season shows and Peacock originals, alongside a much wider selection of movies, shows, live sports and early access to certain content. The ad-free Premium Plus tier, in addition to having no advertising, also offers offline viewing and a livestream of your local NBC channel.

These changes have already taken effect, and anyone that tries to sign up to Peacock right now will be given the choice between Peacock Premium and Premium Plus. However, the streamer is currently offering an annual Peacock Premium subscription for $30 — which is $20 off the usual price. That tier is also free for Comcast customers, who can also upgrade to Premium Plus for $5 a month.

Of course, if you’re not happy paying money for your streaming content, be sure to check out our list of the best free streaming services. The likes of Freevee (owned by Amazon), Pluto TV (Owned by Paramount), Roku Channel and others are still available — though they each have their own respective pros and cons. 

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.