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Netflix and HBO Max subscribers may be turning to Peacock soon — here’s why

Netflix and HBO Max subscribers may be turning to Peacock soon — here’s why
(Image credit: Comcast/NBC)

These days, cutting the cable cord means subscribing to any number of proprietary streaming services. Netflix and Hulu are some of the more prevalent platforms, but HBO Max has become a premiere destination for new releases as well. With stores of its movies and content on other streaming platforms, NBCUniversal is looking into potentially removing its content from other services to instead keep them on its own Peacock platform. 

For those who have already opted out of adding Peacock to their revolving door of streaming services, that might present a problem. Namely, having to subscribe once more to access the content they’d be missing elsewhere. It makes choosing a streaming service all the more complicated as content becomes exclusively siloed to specific brands.

Bloomberg reports that NBCUniversal would plan to keep new film releases on Peacock instead of HBO Max. At the moment, HBO Max pays for rights to NBC Universal content for nine months after leaving theaters. Netflix has a similar deal in place, though both deals are set to expire at the end of 2021.

Sources indicate there's no final decision has been made for NBCUNiversal's end thus far. There are even discussions about other potential, similar deals with third parties like HBO Max and Netflix. So what's the catch? Internal talks have yet to reveal a viable reason for giving popular movies to competitors. Still, it's something worth discussing, especially since the pandemic has forced films to be more readily available for viewers at home.

Universal is home to several integral franchises that rank highly across the major streaming services: Jurassic World, Fast & Furious and The Secret Life of Pets 2. It would be massively detrimental for HBO Max and Netflix to lose these money-makers. But that's why both platforms have prepared by working to extend its own offerings of scripted films and shows to compensate.

Right now, it's unclear whether this plan will come to fruition. Internal deliberations are still happening, but the outcome could mean big things for Peacock. At the moment, Peacock boasts that it has at least 33 million accounts. Unfortunately, that's translated to only 11.3 million active viewing households. That's a far cry from Netflix, which is in 80% of U.S. households as of August 2020. If Peacock does update its exclusive offerings, that could help give it a major advantage.

Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.