Skip to main content

Screen Wars Thought Leader Interviews are also available on

SpotifyApple PodcastGoogle Podcast
State of the Screens

NBC is banking on a free streaming service to counter-balance Netflix, Disney and Amazon

By January 24, 2019No Comments

New streaming wars entrant #1: NBCUniversal is launching an ad-supported (kind of) streaming service in early 2020 potentially around the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

What it will cost depends on your pay-TV status:
With pay-TV — Free w/ ads
Without pay-TV — $12/month w/ ads

Why this matters: NBCUniversal is not ready to abandon the pay-TV model just yet and this looks like an improvement on the TV anywhere model that some analysts such as Alan Wolk have been recommending for years.

The service will pull content from NBCUniversal (NBC TV, USA, Syfy, Bravo, etc.), Dreamworks and Universal Studios.

Quick math on the advertising:
Ad minutes/hour — 3–5
30s spots/hour — 6–10
3) Ad revenue/user/month — $5
4) CPM $ —  $30
5) $/spot — $0.03
6) Spots/month — 167
7) The service needs 17–28 hours/viewer/month to hit the revenue target from advertising

Cross Screen: The ads for this service will be sold/delivered alongside linear and on-demand.

Quote from Steve Burke — CEO @ NBCUniversal:
“Advertising continues to be a major part of the entertainment ecosystem and we believe that a streaming service, with limited and personalized ads, will provide a great consumer experience,”

Video: NBCUniversal to launch streaming service in 2020

More #1: NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke Explains How New Streaming Service Will Take Shape (Q&A)

More #2: TV Authentication Push Is Official

Michael Beach

Michael Beach is the Chief Executive Officer of Cross Screen Media, a media analytics and software company that enables marketers to plan, activate, and measure CTV and linear TV at the local level. Michael is also the founder and editor of State of the Screens, a weekly newsletter focused on video advertising that is a must-read for thought leaders in the advertising industry. He has appeared in such publications as PBS Frontline, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Axios, CNBC and Bloomberg, and on NPR’s Planet Money podcast.