A new licensing agreement will see Universal Pictures films headed exclusively to NBCUniversal’s streaming service, Peacock, no later than four months after their cinematic debut — a major win for the platform as it attempts to lure in new cinephile subscribers.
Beginning in 2022, the deal will mean that new releases from Universal and select other studios — including DreamWorks, Illumination, and Focus Films — will be available to stream exclusively on Peacock at least four months after they debut in theaters. After those four months are up, the films will be eligible for option at other services, but will eventually return to Peacock to finish out the last four months of their (typically 18-month) streaming cycle.
The deal is part of what’s known as a pay-one window, in which streaming services lock in deals with studios for the initial rights to stream a given piece of content in the first months after its theatrical release. In a statement, Matt Strauss, the chairman of Peacock and NBCUniversal Digital Enterprises, told CNN on Tuesday that the deal will be a boon to Peacock as it tries to diversify its offerings.
“Universal Filmed Entertainment Group has been a fantastic partner and we are excited to not only bring their amazing slate of blockbuster films and beloved franchises to Peacock in the first-pay window, but also provide a steady stream of fresh, original films exclusively for Peacock customers throughout the year.”
The agreement will encompass a powerful lineup of forthcoming releases, including the latest installment in the Fast & Furious franchise, F9, as well as a slew of yet-to-be-released titles from Universal Filmed Entertainment Group that a spokesperson told The Verge included Jurassic World:Dominion, Minions: The Rise of Gru, and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. The deal also stipulates that Universal will begin producing exclusive original films for Peacock beginning in 2022 — an exciting prospect for Peacock, which is most likely thrilled about any deal that sets it afield from the already competitive and oversaturated streaming market.
NBCUniversal’s answer to Netflix, Peacock launched last summer with the promise of an already explosively popular slate of original shows, including Law & Order: SVU, Parks and Recreation, This Is Us and The Office — all of which are now exclusive to the platform. The deal with Universal signals just how competitive the market for “exclusive content” has become, particularly as platforms attempt to curate their offerings in order to attract new customers.