Like nearly all millennials, I get my music and TV via streaming, thanks to Spotify, Netflix, and FilmStruck (RIP). But back in 2018, iTunes had a flash sale where they offered all eight seasons of The Office for just $25. Since I live overseas — and so my access to Netflix’s US selection depends on the vagaries of my VPN — I went ahead and splurged, even if it felt sort of like 2006, all over again. I mean, buying episodes of The Office? I almost had a hankering to take out my iPod video, too!
Fast forward to the beginning of 2021. NBC recently rolled out its own streaming service, Peacock. There are various tiers for the different levels of service, but in early-January, Peacock’s pricing was almost entirely predicated on how much of The Office you’d want to watch.
At $5/month, it’s $60/year to watch all episodes of The Office. For comparison, I’ve now owned The Office for just about two years, which, given its $25 initial cost, comes out to $12.50/year (or $1/month). But best of all, I’ll be able to amortize my initial investment over my lifetime of Office watching, while Peacock will continue to bill folks $60/year (or more!). Assuming that I enjoy watching Michael Scott make a fool of himself for another ten years, my initial investment comes out to a ridiculous $2/year (or 25 cents/month).
At any rate, it’s obvious that the folks in NBC’s marketing department got wind of the fact that the internet knows that The Office is what brings home the bacon. As of today, their pricing is a little more… egalitarian.
But hey, it takes just one Dwigt to tip them off, right?
* Yes, I know I could do the same math for buying DVDs or CDs or basically any download vs. stream switch. But c’mon, it’s obvious that they built a streaming service around one TV show!