In this new stage in the period of ascendance for digital content streaming, nearly every major company of media content providers are developing and launching their own corner of the streaming market. True, “universal” media streaming platforms like Netflix and Hulu are still around, but even they are increasingly putting more focus on original stuff even as more of their licensed media get pulled by their respective creators for their own exclusive services. Now, the contest is on for which platform has the most sought-after content and the coolest ways of presenting them. Comcast looks to be thinking of the second aspect regarding their preview of their own streaming service.
The Verge tells us that Comcast and NBCUniversal has given investors a sneak peek on the features and general interface for Peacock, their soon-to-launch streaming platform. The event was held Thursday, July 16, at an investor event in New York City. Peacock’s chairman, Matt Strauss, was on hand to show how users would navigate through Peacock when it opens in the middle of this year. And one of the quirks for the platform is something the interface automatically does while the user is browsing the library for media to watch.
It is normal for some streaming service interfaces to have some preview footage shown when a user highlights a media selection while browsing. But with Peacock, that snippet sneak peek is taken one extra mile or two. When navigating the interface and deciding which content in the library to view, the platform actually randomly chooses one of its online media and automatically streams it in full: a series episode, news broadcast or even a game. Strauss describes this auto-streaming as a replication of live TV, where if a television set is switched on it will open on any currently airing program without any stream-like pausing.
The Peacock boss demonstrated this feature in a sample interface walkthrough. While Matt Strauss was cycling through selections on the service’s library of over 15,000 films and TV shows, the upper portion of the screen was automatically running through a broadcast of NBC News Now, with a report on the latest developments regarding the “stepping back” of Prince Harry and Meghan from UK Royal Family duties. Similar to Netflix, the more media a Peacock subscriber watches, the more its algorithms calculate which media the user prefers to see in selection. There will also be priority sections for children’s content, trending media and Peacock original productions.
Comcast and NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service will go online this coming July 15, 2020. There will however be an early-bird launch available for subscribers to Comcast’s Xfinity service, which will be on April 15 instead.
Image courtesy of The Streamable