Peacock turns to original movies, Lionsgate partnership and new ad formats to compete in streaming – TechCrunch

In today’s IAB Newfront presentation, Peacock announced its first move into original movies, a deal with Lionsgate, streaming next-day shows on Bravo, expanding established franchises, among many other ads as a new (and somewhat questionable) ad format.

In the recent Q1 2022 quarterly earnings report, Peacock added 28 million monthly active accounts, but lost $456 million on revenue of $472 million. It’s possible that these announcements are an attempt to up its game as it has to compete with much bigger competitors such as Warner Bros. Discovery, Disney+ and Netflix.

Peacock President Kelly Campbell insisted the company is “on the heels of our biggest quarter ever,” she said during the presentation.

To back that up, Peacock has announced three upcoming original movies co-created with Universal Pictures, slated to premiere in 2023.

Kelly Campbell, President, Peacock and Direct-to-Consumer and International, NBCUniversal, said in a statement:

“We know people join Peacock to watch movies, so we’re constantly adding more to serve the fans. Together with Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, we are excited to bring our customers fresh, exclusive and original films next year, in addition to legendary blockbusters from Universal Pictures and beloved franchises streaming now.

Upcoming titles include “Shooting Stars,” which explores LeBron’s background as a high school basketball player; “Rent This”, with Chloe Bailey; and “The Killer” reimagined by John Woo.

These are the very first exclusive Peacock movies, however, the streamer is pretty late to the party, and three original movies might not cut it. Peacock will need to release a lot more exciting original films to impress its subscribers.

New content and deal with Lionsgate film studio

The streaming service is not new to original content and offers several original series. One example is “Bel-Air,” the platform’s most-streamed original series to date, which Campbell touted during the NewFront presentation and said more than eight million accounts watched the reboot.

While there were many eyes on the screen, how true is it that viewers appreciated watch the remake of “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”? For example, the show earned a rating of 5.9 out of 10 on IMDb and 66% on Rotten Tomatoes. The Guardian also harshly called the drama “confusing” and “joyless”.

Picture credits: Peacock

Reboots saturate the media landscape these days, and Peacock is no different from its competition. The company announced an expansion of its long-established franchises and plans to release original series based on characters from “Pitch Perfect”, “Ted” and others. Pete Davidson’s new show, “Bupkis,” is also coming to the service, among other titles that aim to appeal to its younger, diverse audience.

The NBCUniversal-owned streamer also unveiled a deal with Lionsgate to stream the studio’s theatrical releases starting in 2024. The deal will bring films exclusively to the Peacock and NBCUniversal networks for their Pay 2 window (exclusive release windows after a film’s theatrical release). That includes the studio’s 2022 slate, and the first title to hit the streaming service will be “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” starring Nicolas Cage.

Last week, Lionsgate revealed a multi-year deal with The Roku Channel, which gives the platform exclusive rights to Lionsgate’s movie slate immediately after the first paid movie window on Starz. Roku users can enjoy titles like “John Wick 4” and “Borderlands” on a free streaming service, while Peacock subscribers will have to wait two more years to watch them.

Launch of new ad formats

During the presentation, Peacock unveiled plans for a “frame ad”, where a brand will get a frame around the content the viewer wants to watch, and an “on-stage ad”, which incorporates a brand’s advertisement during post-production.

Peacock turns to original movies, Lionsgate partnership and new ad formats to compete in streaming – TechCrunch

Picture credits: Peacock

The new ad format with frames (shown above) could distract viewers. It doesn’t matter if it’s a brand that a consumer wants to see, having ads on screen while a show is airing will definitely cause some inconvenience.

Peacock turns to original movies, Lionsgate partnership and new ad formats to compete in streaming – TechCrunch

Picture credits: Peacock

The other ad format, the in-stage ad (shown above), is less distracting, but marketers might struggle to engage consumers if the brand is only highlighted in a short stage.

As ad-supported tiers become more popular, with Disney+ and now Netflix joining the fray, marketers can experiment with similar advertising tactics, but must be careful not to spoil the viewing experience for consumers.

Other announcements in the presentation include:

  • Airing the next day of shows on Bravo like “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” and “Top Chef” (which lived on Hulu)
  • UI updates like cinematic view, individual customization, easier playback access, left vertical navigation, video previews, and more.
  • A new feature dubbed “Catch Up with Key Plays” will allow English Premier League fans to watch highlights without having to leave the in-game viewing experience.


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