If You Aren’t Getting Peacock and Paramount+ at a Discount, You Just Aren’t Trying

Paramount+ and Peacock will go to great lengths and even greater heights to capture new subscribers. On Wednesday, the NBCUniversal streamer landed its latest corporate partnership: Add Peacock to the (Insta)cart.

The direct-to-consumer NBCU platform is now available free to all Instacart+ users; they’ll get access to the to the ad-supported Peacock Premium, the $5.99/month tier. Instacart/Peacock was a match made by Mastercard; in October, the credit card company partnered (separately) with both digital platforms in the form of an elevated cash-back program.

Instacart+ costs $99 per year or $9.99/month, which allows members to waive most (but not all) delivery fees on orders over $35. It’s a move that appears to be a direct response to Walmart’s deal with Paramount Global. Subscribers to Walmart+, the retail giant’s free-shipping program (among other benefits), gain access to the Paramount+ Essential plan. That’s the tier with commercials and without Showtime; it also runs $5.99/month.

The newest trend in the streaming wars isn’t only taking place by land. On December 15, 2022, NBCUniversal announced a partnership with airline jetBlue. The arrangement, in which jetBlue customers could access a “selection” of Peacock content in their seat backs, was touted as a “first-of-its kind partnership between an airline and streaming service.” Those bragging rights expired three weeks later, when Paramount+ and Delta announced they would do pretty much the same thing.

And then there’s this deal between Peacock and the Match.com parent company. Is eHarmony still around for Paramount? A joke, but not really: Exactly one hour and 35 minutes after Peacock- Instacart hit the newswire, Paramount and AARP jointly announced a discounted plan for seniors.

Promotional art for the Peacock/JetBlue dealPhoto Courtesy of NBCUniversal

The timing of Paramount/AARP, we’re told, was coincidental — but time appears to be of the essence. Along with securing Peacock for its users, Instacart gets a “takeover” of tonight’s Rockefeller Center Christmas-tree lighting — presumably in recognition of Santa being the ultimate in swift retail delivery. Or something.

‘Tis the season of giving, but NBCU also receives. A person with knowledge of the deal told IndieWire tha in exchange for Peacock, Instacart provides unspecified financial considerations — along with the extra advertising revenue that comes with extra eyeballs.

Deals like these also mean an immediate boost in subscriber totals. Users from the partnership programs are considered paid members, and thus part of the tally that is typically revealed as part of a public company’s quarterly earnings.

As of the end of 2023’s third quarter, Peacock had 28 million subscribers and Paramount+ had more than 63 million. Even with the partnerships, their numbers are unlikely to make Netflix (247 million), Disney+ (112 million, without Hotstar), and Max (95 million) shudder. For Shudder, they might — but no corporate tie-in will let the streaming industry dodge serious consolidation in 2023. The next big partnerships for Peacock and Paramount+ could well be each other.

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