Subscription services are the rage these days and it’s easy to see why. This is because subscriptions ensure a steady stream of revenue, versus ala carte where customers might go weeks or months without purchasing anything new, whereas subscriptions ensure that money is rolling in regardless of whether customers use the service or not. Kind of like the gym.

So much so that we’re starting to see a bunch of streaming services pop up with NBC being the latest to toss their hat into the ring. The company has recently confirmed that they plan to launch a free streaming service in 2020 that will be supported by ads, similar to how YouTube operates where ads will help generate revenue from videos.

The streaming service is expected to provide users with access to NBC’s shows such as SNL, Parks and Recreation, along with access to Universal movies. This service will be free for those who are subscribed to NBC TV, but in case you don’t want the ads or don’t have a subscription, you can opt to pay $12.99 a month for the ad-free version.

Speaking to CNBC, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke said, “One of the interesting things about this that makes it different and innovative is that we’ll have a big emphasis on free-to-consumer. We want to create a platform that has significant scale and can scale quickly. The best way to do that, is make it free to consumers and leverage the fact that NBCUniversal’s sister company is a cable company and now owns Sky.”

While having more choices is a good thing, a study from last year found that due to the rise in streaming services, piracy also seems to be rising due to the fact that customers don’t think it’s a good idea to subscribe to multiple services at once just for the exclusives, and have turned to piracy as a result.

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