Peacock Review 2022: Plans, Pricing, and More

Peacock isn't a major player in the streaming wars 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, Yellowstone, Harry Potter, originals, and more

Is Peacock good?

Here’s some goodness: On-demand streamer Peacock is 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 15,000-hour library for nada.

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. Also, Peacock is the only place you can stream The Office—that’s a “Threat Level Midnight”-level argument (if you’re a fan, you get it).

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
$9.99–$19.99/mo. 4.33/5 1080p, 4K 1–4 14+ View plans
$6.99–12.99/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 also carries previous seasons of Paramount Network cable juggernaut Yellowstone (which Paramount+ doesn’t)

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 Sony and Warner Bros., thanks to a licensing deal struck before its national launch. In non-biz terms, this means both the Harry Potter and Spider-Man franchises coexist on Peacock.

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):

  • Spider-Man franchise
  • Die Hard franchise
  • Harry Potter franchise
  • Friday franchise
  • Bridesmaids
  • Pretty Woman
  • The Goonies
  • Sex and the City
  • The Green Mile
  • The Hangover
  • Robin Hood
  • The Cat in the Hat
  • Meet the Parents
  • Neighbors
  • Point Break
  • Twister
  • How to Train Your Dragon
  • Monster vs. Aliens
  • Trolls World Tour
  • Despicable Me

Peacock original shows and movies

Peacock has a few exclusive originals up its feathered sleeve, like Psych 3: This is Gus (the third 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 Departure (an international thriller starring Archie Punjani) and Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol (from The Da Vinci Code author), and small-town comedy Rutherford Falls (starring The Office’s Ed Helms). It’s a small lineup, but Peacock continues to expand with originals like Girls5eva, We Are Lady Parts, and the critically-acclaimed Amber Ruffin Show.

Peacock original shows
(partial list):

  • Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol
  • 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
  • Departure
  • The Girl in the Woods
  • Dr. Death
  • One of Us is Lying

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.

Multiple streams

Service
Peacock
Streams Upgrades Offline downloads
3 None Yes

Three simultaneous streams is the unspoken streaming standard, and so it is with Peacock.

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

Supported devices

Device
Amazon Fire Cube, Stick, TV
Android phones, tablets
Android TV
Apple TV (4th gen.)
Apple TV 4K
Chromecast, Chromecast with Google TV
Echo Show
iPhone, iPad
LG TVs (select models)
Nintendo Switch
NVIDIA SHIELD Pro TV
PC, Mac web browsers
PlayStation 3, 4, 5
Roku Ultra, Express, Premiere, Stick, TV
Samsung TVs (select models)
TiVo Stream
Wii
Xbox One
Xfinity Flex, X1
Peacock

Peacock’s on everything but Nintendo and PlayStation. No Peacock for you, gamers.

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 Browsing T V Channels
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 Channel Selection
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+: nice to have, but probably not absolutely 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, though the originals are getting better all the time), but Peacock is a solid addition to your app lineup.

Besides, you’re more than a little curious about what the Psych guys are up to now, right?

Methodology

Our experts employed hours of hands-on testing with Peacock, rating the streaming service on bang for your buck, reliability, features, and customer satisfaction. Then we matched up Peacock with other on-demand streaming services head to head to give a clearer picture of its strengths and weaknesses. For more information on our methodology, check out our How We Rank page.

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 also streams live sports, including Premier League soccer, Ryder Cup golf, WWE Entertainment, and the 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. To get local channels, we’d suggest subscribing to a live TV streaming service or buying a digital over-the-air antenna.