When Peacock landed in the UK in November 2021, it was expected to bring American entertainment to British audiences through NBCUniversal.
However, the streaming service, available only through Sky and lacking its own app, faced challenges in replicating its success from the United States.
The absence of a standalone presence likely hindered Peacock from establishing itself as a distinct player in the market.
In the eyes of consumers, Peacock in the UK seemed more like an extension of existing services rather than a fresh, standalone option.
Here are the key reasons for Peacock’s struggle in the UK:
- Integration with Sky and NOW: Unlike in the United States, where Peacock operated independently, its content in the UK was closely linked to Sky and NOW. This restricted access for viewers without subscriptions to these platforms.
- Advertisement Limitations: Even existing Sky and NOW subscribers could access Peacock content only with ads, unless they had a NOW Boost subscription. This additional hurdle may have affected the overall viewing experience.
- Catalog and Updates: Peacock’s UK catalog of movies and shows was reportedly smaller than its U.S. counterpart, and it suffered from infrequent updates.
However, I contacted one of my friends in the UK and asked him about this. He said,
“Pretty much expected it. Peacock UK was a total waste of time. Sky is the bigger name here than Peacock or NBC. Just move the Peacock programmes to Sky Channels and job done.”
Success often depends on having a diverse and exciting content library. While Peacock did well in the U.S., doing the same in the UK turned out to be a tough task.
Peacock hasn’t officially commented on this yet, but its exit from the UK is a big deal in the ongoing streaming wars.
After Peacock leaves, some of its popular shows might find new homes on other Sky channels or move to the Hayu app.