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Is Peacock actually free? Here's what the free "base" plan gets you
Peacock is often listed among free streaming services. Heck, we list it in our own such list here at Android Authority. But that’s not the full story. Peacock has a paid tier, and it’s not just an ad-free version of the same service. So, is Peacock free?
Read on for a breakdown of what the free version of Peacock is all about. And if you want to sign up, you can hit the link below.
Short answer: Is Peacock free?
The short answer is yes. Peacock is free. Or rather, there is a free tier of Peacock. It’s supported by brief ad breaks in the content you watch.
What that means is that you can watch some titles on Peacock without spending a penny. The revenue from the ads funds your streaming.
Now, the operative word here is “some.” There’s a lot of content you can’t access if you only use the free tier. So, let’s break that down and run through what is and, importantly, what is not free on Peacock.
Peacock’s ad-supported basic plan: an overview
Peacock actually has two paid plans. The two plans include the same access to all of Peacock’s content. That means that if you’re a paying customer, you have unlimited access.
See also: The best movies on Peacock
For $4.99 per month, you get Peacock Premium. Your unlimited access still includes ads with Premium, like with the free tier.
If you bump that up to a Peacock Premium Plus subscription for $9.99 per month, you get to drop all of the ads and continue to access anything you want on Peacock.
What can you watch with the basic plan?
There is a lot to watch on Peacock even at the free tier.
One of the functions the free tier serves is as a kind of teaser for the paid subscriptions. A lot of the shows that require a Premium or Premium Plus subscription do offer free episodes.
You can watch the first two seasons of The Office and Parks and Recreation for free, for example. The first episodes of Peacock originals are often available for free. Girls5eva and We Are Lady Parts each have one free episode, but you can watch the first three episodes of Dr. Death and The Lost Symbol for free.
Check out: The best shows on Peacock
There are shows available in their entirety for free too. All seasons of Brooklyn Nine Nine, Battlestar Galactica, Superstore, Downton Abbey, and Columbo are free, for example. All 47 seasons of Saturday Night Live are available for free, and you can stay up to date with new episodes added weekly.
On the film side, you also get a limited selection of titles available to stream for free. This includes celebrated indies like Short Term 12, under-appreciated cult films like Gamer, horror classics like Black Christmas and Night of the Living Dead, and plenty more.
More importantly, what can’t you watch on Peacock’s free version?
As mentioned above, some of the shows available for free on Peacock limit how much you can watch. So, while The Office and Parks and Recreation are free, you get cut off after those first two seasons and have to pay for more.
You can also access The Office: Superfan Episodes, a selection of episodes from seasons 1 to 4 expanded with deleted and extended scenes.
Related: The best Peacock original shows
The Peacock originals are big omissions too. If you’re a free subscriber, you only get a brief taste of original shows, effectively just enough to let you decide if they’re worth upgrading to a paid tier for.
There are many movies off limits to free-tier users too. You may have heard, for instance, that you can watch the whole Harry Potter series on Peacock. That’s true, but it’s only available to paying subscribers. The same goes for plenty of newer titles like Michael Bay’s 2022 action film Ambulance, 2022 horror hit The Black Phone, and popular older titles like The Big Lebowski and Bridesmaids.
Is the free plan even worth it?
It would be hard to argue that the Peacock free tier isn’t worth it. It’s free after all. You are paying for it by sitting through ads though. And you have to accept a limited library.
Where Peacock’s free tier really fails is in its limited access to Peacock original series. While having reduced access to movies and shows might make you lose interest in Peacock eventually, the way original shows are included forces you to either abandon them after one to three episodes or commit to a paid tier. In that way, free Peacock is almost like a teaser service.
So, whether it’s worth it depends on you. If you like having access to a few titles you won’t get anywhere else and you don’t mind ads, then Peacock’s free plan is absolutely worth it.
If you want to watch the MacGruber show or check out new Peacock original movies? Not so much.
Peacock is currently only available in the U.S. Select titles are available on other services in different regions though.
Yes. Peacock does require that you create an account even if you only use the free tier. You won’t be required to input any credit card or other payment information unless you upgrade to a paid subscription.
Yes. Peacock features over 50 live channels, and you can watch live news, WWE events, and sports. The live channels are available on free and paid accounts.
Peacock supports every major platform and device. This includes Chrome, Firefox, and Safari, as well as Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, and more.