Peacock’s New `Watch With’ Feature To Bring Live Engagement With Fans
NBCUniversal’s premium streaming service Peacock is rolling out a new feature called “Watch With” that will present special episodes of programs with a new YouTube-like live interactive viewing experience.
The feature will let viewers watch these “special episodes” alongside realtime split-screen commentary of talent offering reactions, behind-the-scenes perspective and unfiltered interactive Q&A with the viewers.
The first Watch With presentation is set to launch February 24th directly following the Season Two premiere of Peacock’s drama series “Bel-Air,” with Jabari Banks and Olly Sholotan, the service announced Wednesday.
The feature will then extend to Eurovision with two-time Olympian and NBC correspondent Johnny Weir, The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip with Candiace Dillard Bassett and Marysol Patton, plus more to be announced, the company said.
Peacock said Watch With was developed as a new user experience that will enable show producers and marketers to take fans behind the scenes of their favorite programs and engage with the stars, directors and creators.
Peacock said special events are intended to present a seamless split-screen view through which viewers can engage with show stars and creators to have questions answered in real time.
Users will enter the livestream and be taken to a video overlay of talent providing commentary on the episode, alongside a count of how many fans are watching.
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Using the feature, the event producers will be able to keep pulse on all live social chatter, to bring the most noteworthy moments and questions to the attention of the talent in real-time.
With ongoing testing for continual optimization, the Watch With feature first appeared in beta form on the platform last year with beloved Miami Housewives, Larsa Pippen and Marysol Patton.
“After exceeding our viewership forecasts, we’re highly encouraged by the first test of ‘Watch With’ as a way to super-serve fans with a live communal viewing experience,” said John Jelley, Senior Vice President, Product & UX, Peacock and Direct-to-Consumer, NBCUniversal. “As we work to build an unrivaled audience experience at Peacock, we’re looking to continue experimenting with in-product innovations that enhance the streaming experience and break into the cultural zeitgeist.”
The Watch With announcement seems to be part of the growing trend with streaming services looking to engage fans interactively through their platforms. The subscription-based live TV streaming service YouTube TV also announced this week that it will be bringing a similar interactive feature to NFL Sunday Ticket, with the special out-of-market football game package begins on its new home this fall.
Similar to Watch With, that feature component will bring subscribers realtime live commentary, chats, polls and more to supplement the games.
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By Greg Tarr
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