SVG Icons

Peacock Review 2021: Plans, Pricing, and More

Peacock isn't quite an essential streamer yet, but it’s still loaded with content (and it’s cheap).

Cheapest (on-demand streaming)

Price: Free–$9.99/mo.

Free trial for Peacock Premium: 7 days

Shows and movies: The Office, Fast & Furious, originals, and more

Update June 24, 2021: Peacock is now available to Amazon Fire TV users. That only took a year.

Update: After COVID-19’s drastic interruption, the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics are happening—and you can watch them on Peacock. To find out how to watch the Olympic games on Peacock, and learn which service gets you the best coverage, check out our guide: How to Watch the 2020 Summer Olympics in 2021.

What is Peacock?

Peacock, named after NBC’s classic multicolored mascot, is an on-demand streaming service from NBCUniversal. It carries over 15,000 hours of TV shows and movies from the NBCU vault, as well as exclusive original content, and live news and sports (like the 2021 Summer Olympics).

Most newsworthy, Peacock is now the only place to stream The Office—a New Year’s Eve move that put Netflix subscribers at “Threat Level Midnight” (if you’re a fan, you get it).

Peacock is also unique in that it’s the only major streaming service that offers a free, ad-supported tier alongside its paid plans. If you’re experiencing subscription fatigue—the struggle is real—you can access half of Peacock’s massive library for nada.

Is Peacock good?

Aside from its content catalog, the most appealing aspect of Peacock is its pricing: you can go with the limited free version, a monthly $4.99 (with ads) full-library Premium plan, or the $9.99 (no ads) monthly full-library Premium Plus plan. This makes Peacock one of the least-expensive big media streamers out there—that’s a fat check in the “good” column.

Overall, we think Peacock is a worthwhile addition to your streaming apps lineup. The freebie tier gives you an impressive array of shows and movies, and it’s hard to argue with the price. Of course, you’ll get far more content on the Premium tiers, and who knows how long Peacock will offer a free level—Hulu used to have a no-cost tier too.

Peacock pros and cons

Pros

  • Inexpensive plans
  • Exclusive NBCUniversal content

Cons

  • Limited original content
  • Lackluster interface

Peacock free trials and deals

Peacock offers a seven-day free trial for both its Premium tiers.

Xfinity and Cox cable subscribers can get Peacock Premium (with ads) for free with their service, or Peacock Premium Plus (no ads) for $4.99 a month. Read more in our How to Watch Peacock with Xfinity (and Cox) guide.

Peacock plans and pricing

Price Hours of content Video Streams Details
Free 7,500 1080p, 4K 3 View plan
$4.99/mo. 15,000 1080p, 4K 3 View plan
$9.99/mo. 15,000 1080p, 4K 3 View plan

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

The free version of Peacock gives you access to half of the service’s 15,000+ hours of shows and movies, and none of its original content (not that there’s much of it right now). This includes current NBC broadcast series and older NBCU shows and movies—and yes, ads.

The Premium tiers open up the entire Peacock catalogue and include next-day drops of broadcast episodes from NBC series and Peacock originals. Most interestingly, at least for late-night talk show fans, Peacock Premium will drop new Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night with Seth Meyers episodes three-and-a-half hours before broadcast.

Peacock vs. the competition

Price Editorial rating Video Streams Compatible devices Details
Free–$9.99/mo. 4.33/5 1080p, 4K 3 10+ View plan
$8.99–$17.99/mo. 4.33/5 1080p, 4K 1–4 14+ View plans
$5.99–11.99/mo. 4.22/5 1080p, 4K 2 13+ View plans
$8.99–$12.99/mo. 4.19/5 1080p, 4K 3 13+ View plans
$6.99/mo. 4.61/5 1080p, 4K 4 13+ View plans
$14.99/mo. 4.5/5 1080p, 4K 3 10+ View plans
$4.99/mo. 3.93/5 1080p, 4K 6 7+ View plans
$4.99–$9.99/mo. 4.07/5 1080p 3 12+ View plans

Data effective as of post date. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Peacock’s tech specs are similar to other major on-demand streaming outlets, but it only has an ad-supported paid tier in common with Hulu and Paramount+. But, according to NBCUniversal, Peacock’s ad load is a relatively light five minutes per hour (if you believe the suits).

Shows and movies on Peacock

Peacock on-demand shows and movies

NBCUniversal’s library of TV shows and movies is deeper than you might think. It’s not just NBC shows on the TV side; it also includes cable networks USA, Syfy, Oxygen, Bravo, E!, CNBC, MSNBC, and Universal Kids.

Peacock will also feature some live news and sports, like Premier League soccer, the 2021 Summer Olympics, and WWE Entertainment (pro wrestling is a sport—we’ll die on this hill).

On the movies side, Peacock draws not only from NBCU brands DreamWorks, Focus Features, and Universal Pictures but also from rivals like Paramount and Warner Bros., thanks to a licensing deal struck before its national launch. In non-biz terms, this means both the Matrix and the Fast & Furious franchises coexist on Peacock—whoa, bro.

Shows on Peacock (partial list):

  • The Office
  • Parks and Recreation
  • 30 Rock
  • Friday Night Lights
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Law & Order franchise
  • Downton Abbey
  • Below Deck
  • Southern Charm
  • Yellowstone
  • House
  • Cheers
  • Frasier
  • Parenthood
  • Psych
  • Saved by the Bell
  • The Bad Girls Club
  • Snapped
  • All current NBC series

Movies on Peacock (partial list):

  • Fast & Furious franchise
  • The Matrix franchise
  • Harry Potter franchise
  • Jurassic Park franchise
  • Bridesmaids
  • Pretty Woman
  • The Purge
  • Paddington
  • American Beauty
  • Ghostbusters
  • Robin Hood
  • The Cat in the Hat
  • Meet the Parents
  • Neighbors
  • Casino
  • Mamma Mia!
  • The Hurt Locker
  • The Boss Baby: Family Business
  • Trolls World Tour
  • Despicable Me

Peacock original shows and movies

Peacock has a few exclusive originals up its feathered sleeve, like Psych 2: Lassie Come Home (the second sequel to the USA series), A.P. Bio (a comedy continuing from NBC), and modern-day Saved by the Bell and Punky Brewster reboots.

It’s not all refurbished and borrowed sitcoms though. There are also some heavy dramas, like Brave New World (based on the 1932 dystopian-society novel), The Capture (an international conspiracy thriller), and government workplace comedy Intelligence (starring Friends’ David Schwimmer). It’s a small lineup, but Peacock has expanded in 2021 with new originals like Girls5eva, Rutherford Falls, and the critically-acclaimed Amber Ruffin Show.

Peacock original shows
(partial list):

  • Psych 2: Lassie Come Home
  • A.P. Bio
  • Saved by the Bell
  • Punky Brewster
  • A.P. Bio
  • Brave New World
  • The Capture
  • Intelligence
  • Girls5Eva
  • Rutherford Falls
  • We Are Lady Parts
  • The Amber Ruffin Show
  • Lost Speedways
  • Angelyne
  • Dr. Death
  • Caso Cerrado

Combine Peacock with another streaming service

Peacock doesn’t do it all, so you might want to beef up your viewing options by adding another app to your entertainment lineup.

Swipe Left to See All →
YouTube TV
$64.99/mo.
HBO Max
$14.99/mo.
Hulu
$5.99–11.99/mo.
Get over 84 live TV channels and unlimited DVR space for just $64.99 a month.Watch every show from the HBO library, plus blockbuster movies and Max Originals.Check out next-day network shows from FX and many other channels, plus original content.
View YouTube TV plans View HBO Max plans View Hulu plans

Peacock specs and features

NBCUniversal video apps, like those for NBC and Syfy, have always been fresh and functional—Peacock is no exception. There aren’t many bells and whistles, but it works well enough.

Peacock number of streams vs. the competition

Service
Peacock
Netflix
Hulu
Prime Video
Disney+
HBO Max
Apple TV+
Paramount+
Included streams Upgrades Offline downloads
3 None Yes
1–4 Varies by plan Yes
2 None Yes (Hulu No Ads, $11.99/mo.)
3 None Yes
4 None Yes
3 None Yes
6 None Yes
3 None Yes

Three simultaneous streams is the unspoken industry standard, though we’re still unsure why Hulu is so stingy with just two. What’s one more? Let our mother-in-law in the guest house have her Blue Bloods reruns already.

You can also set up different user profiles on Peacock (with an actual peacock avatar) and create a dedicated “kids mode” account too.

Peacock supported devices vs. the competition

Swipe Left to See All →
DevicePeacockNetflixHuluPrime VideoDisney+HBO MaxApple TV+Paramount+
Amazon Fire Cube
Amazon Fire TV
Amazon Fire TV Stick
Android phones and tablets
Android TV
Apple TV (4th gen.)
Apple TV 4K
Chromecast
Echo Show
iPhone and iPad
LG TVs
Nintendo Switch
NVIDIA SHIELD
PC and Mac Web browsers
PlayStation 3, 4, 5
Roku
Roku Express
Samsung TVs
Wii
Xbox 360
Xbox One

Peacock’s finally available on Amazon Fire TV, just in time for the Olympics. . .coincidence?

Get Peacock

Peacock video and audio quality

Rectangles, tabs, and channels—oh my! For a largely on-demand service, Peacock’s interface looks a lot like a cable TV setup. Maybe it didn’t want to confuse Xfinity and Cox customers (who get free or discounted access to Peacock Premium).

Peacock's home screen

In addition to the usual along-the-top tabs—which include a YouTube-like “Trending” section—there’s a tab for a grid of 21 “channels,” which are really just endless loops of shows. Peacock features channels dedicated to NBC News, The Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, and ‘80s classics, among dozens of others.

Peacock channels

There’s not much of a learning curve with Peacock’s interface, as it’s light on features and options—which is good or bad, depending on your level of tech tolerance. On a purely aesthetic note, we’re not sold on the choice of yellow highlighting. With so many colors on a peacock, why go with the most obnoxious one?

Peacock’s audio is standard 2.0 stereo, though some shows and movies stream in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound—like megabudget action flicks, where it sounds and feels like you’re right in the middle of whatever disaster The Rock is battling against.

Final take: Is Peacock worth it?

While the hype level for Peacock is nowhere near that of Disney+ or HBO Max, it still has plenty to offer. It’s more in-line with Paramount+ and Apple TV+: nice but probably not essential (though Battlestar Galactica and The Office fans may strongly disagree).

But, for the price, Peacock is worth checking out—the free tier alone gives you thousands of viewing diversions, many you can’t get anywhere else. It won’t be your sole source of entertainment (at least not yet; the originals are getting better), but Peacock is a solid addition to your app lineup.

Besides, you’re more than a little curious about what Punky Brewster is up to now, right?

Peacock FAQ

Is Peacock free?

Peacock’s basic tier, with ads, is free for anyone with access to the app to stream. Peacock Premium (with ads) and Peacock Premium Plus (no ads) both offer a free trial period of seven days.

Xfinity and Cox cable subscribers can get Peacock Premium (with ads) for no extra charge with their service, or Peacock Premium Plus (no ads) for $4.99 a month. Learn more in our How to Watch Peacock with Xfinity (and Cox) guide.

How much does Peacock cost?

There are three levels to Peacock, and all of them are cheaper than most other on-demand streaming services.

  • Peacock (free with ads): A no-cost, ad-supported tier with access to half of Peacock’s library (7,500+ hours of content), including next-day streams of current NBC series and older NBCUniversal shows and movies.
  • Peacock Premium (with ads): A $4.99/mo. ad-supported tier with access to all of Peacock’s library (15,000+ hours of content), including next-day streams of current NBC series, older NBCUniversal shows and movies, and Peacock original content.
  • Peacock Premium Plus (no ads): A $9.99/mo. ad-free tier with access to all of Peacock’s library (15,000+ hours of content), including next-day streams of current NBC series, older NBCUniversal shows and movies, and Peacock original content.

Does Peacock stream live TV?

Peacock streams live news programs from NBC, Sky News, MSNBC, and CNBC, as well as rebroadcasts and curated news briefs.

Peacock will also stream some live sports, including Premier League soccer, Ryder Cup golf, WWE Entertainment, and the 2021 Summer Olympics.

Does Peacock stream local channels?

Unlike Paramount+, which livestreams CBS local channels in select markets, Peacock doesn’t carry any NBC local affiliate stations.

Get local channels through a TV provider

Enter your zip code to see what TV providers are available in your area.

Please enter a valid zip code.