Peacock is heading to the metaverse, launching Wednesday on Meta Quest 2 and Quest Pro virtual reality headsets.
As the initiative goes live, Meta Platforms and Peacock parent NBCUniversal are offering VR users some incentives to stream. Subscribers to Peacock who already own a Quest 2 or Quest Pro can get three months of Peacock Premium (which costs $5 a month) at no extra charge. Those buying a Quest 2 or Quest Pro can get 12 months of Peacock Premium at no additional cost.
Peacock ended 2022 with more than 20 million subscribers, according to NBCU parent Comcast. It has gained traction in recent quarters but has trailed a number of recently launched rivals including Disney+, HBO Max and Paramount+, as well as longtime streaming leader Netflix.
Meta, the tech giant formerly known as Facebook, has been in the midst of a costly pivot toward the metaverse. The company, which officially changed its name in 2021, has sold more than 20 million Quest headsets and brought in $1.5 billion via the Quest Store. Despite those milestones, losses in the company’s Reality Labs division reached $13.7 billion in 2022 and many Wall Streeters and tech analysts remain skeptical about the long-term potential for wide-scale metaverse adoption. Rosy forecasts about much of society being replicated in a new tech realm have not yet come to fruition.
The launch of Peacock on Meta’s headsets is part of a broader, previously announced partnership between NBCU and Meta. The 3-year pact will bring experiences across a variety of NBCU IP, including “Universal Monsters,” “Halloween Horror Nights” and The Office, to immersive environments like Meta Horizon Worlds and the Meta Avatars Store. Later this year, for the first time, Meta users will be able to watch The Office on Peacock on a Quest headset and then engage with the sitcom via VR in Worlds.
Annie Luo, EVP, Head of Global Partnerships & Strategic Development for Peacock, said the launch “meaningfully expands the existing partnership” between the companies. Jarred Kennedy VP, Immersive Apps and Experiences at Meta, said the addition of Peacock means that users “have access to an even larger collection of fan favorite movies, TV, and sports.”