June 26, 2022

Universal Studios announces its newly released films starting from 2022 will be available for streaming exclusively on NBCUniversal’s Peacock. The films will be available for users to rent or purchase on the OTT service as soon as 45 days after they debut in theaters.

According to the company, it will bring movies to emerging Peacock streaming service more quickly by reducing the traditional eight to nine month wait between a film’s debut in theatres and its availability on streaming services.

A Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives on the announcement commented that Peacock could become very formidable competitors to other OTT platforms, given aggressive content moves such as this.

The latest deal brings NBCUniversal, owned by Comcast to join other major media companies in utilizing the bait of recent films to boost their streaming services.

According to reports, in a similar move, Walt Disney Co. had recently brought Marvel franchise “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and “Free Guy” to its Disney+ service just 45 days after their theatrical debut.

Another such announcement was also made by AT&T’s Warner Bros. in a release strategy called “day-and-date,” where it would use the 45-day window for its 2022 movie slate. The content service provider made this year’s movies available simultaneously in theaters and on WarnerMedia’s HBOMax streaming service on the same day.

Craig Moffett, an analyst with MoffettNathanson on such moves by OTT platforms mentioned that one has to wonder, after customers have gotten used to day-and-date from players like HBOMax, whether 45 days is going to be enough to move such a demand.

According to Peacock, as of July it had over 54 million registrations to use its service. From it, 20 million were active accounts and with a few million more active accounts added in recent months.

The service is however roughly comparable, in size, to ViacomCBS’s Paramount+, though dramatically smaller than Netflix with 214 million and Disney+, 116 million subscribers.

The movie releases by Universal in 2022 includes “Ticket to Paradise,” starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts, “The 355,” a globe-trotting spy thriller starring Penelope Cruz, Jessica Chastain, and Lupita Nyong’o, and “Marry Me,” with Owen Wilson and Jennifer Lopez.