It’s not often that a new, major streaming service launches and it’s not available on two of the most popular platforms on the market. But that’s exactly what’s happening to Peacock on Wednesday.
Now that Peacock has launched, it’ll be available on a variety of popular platforms, like Apple’s tvOS and Google’s Android TV, but if you use Amazon’s Fire TV or Roku boxes, you’re out of luck.
In a statement detailing Peacock availability on Tuesday, NBCUniversal said the streaming service would launch on a variety of platforms, but Roku and Fire TV were conspicuously missing from its list.
Last year, there were an estimated 70 million Roku and Fire TV devices in the wild. Together, they have a dominant share of the broader set-top box market. And not one of those devices supports Peacock.
So, why is Peacock missing? It’s hard to say for sure. However, a CNBC report last week said that NBCUniversal balked Amazon’s desire to get a cut of Peacock’s subscription fees by including the service in Amazon Channels. NBCUniversal also couldn’t come to terms with Roku on an ad revenue split between the companies, according to the report.
If Peacock’s omission from Roku and Fire TV sounds familiar, it’s because it’s not the only big streaming launch in recent weeks to sidestep those platforms. HBO Max, which launched on May 27, also isn’t available on Fire TV and Roku. And there’s no telling if and when it will come to those platforms.
Whatever the reason behind Peacock’s decision, it clearly could limit the service’s launch success. While Roku and Fire TV may not be the flashiest of platforms, they’re by far the most popular. And people around the globe rely on them to stream all kinds of content. Like it or not, NBCUniversal will need to deliver Peacock to those services at some point. And it may need to take a financial hit to do it.
Chances are, both Amazon and Roku are just waiting for Peacock (and HBO Max) to realize that.