With NBC poised to launch an OTT comedy play, can Fox and ABC be far behind?

Add NBC to the ranks of big content publishers launching SVOD services in search of viewers under 35 in 2015. The Peacock Network has confirmed that it’s planning to launch an SVOD service featuring comedies from its linear lineup, likely including episodes of The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The plan reportedly is in its early stages, and NBCU has yet to set a firm price for the service, although the Journal posits it should be in the $2.50-$3.50 range, which sounds about right for the network, especially since it’s comedy lineup is a little thin.

CBS, which last fall rolled out its All Access OTT product charges $6 a month for its entire lineup (sans NFL football, for now), and it carries a full-slate of top shows. It currently offers live shows in just a handful of markets with network-owned stations, but has promised to expand that footprint over time. Showtime, a CBS property, also has announced plans to launch OTT in 2015, although they remain vague, and HBO Go is slated to roll out next month, although there hasn’t been much noise from parent Time Warner as to the details of the service, like price or actual launch date.

Viacom’s Nickelodeon is in the final stages of launching a kids programming portal OTT; “Noggin” is expected to launch later this week for $5.9 a month.

NBC reportedly also has considered other packages of content, including faith & family and horror, the Journal reported, but comedy seemed most likely to attract a younger audience.

Millennials and Gen Edge viewers are moving away from traditional TV, according to a range of recent studies, and publishers are struggling to get adequate measurement of viewership online and on mobile devices through traditional sources like Nielsen.

Reports last month said Nielsen had measured a “stunning” decline in Millennial TV viewership in the fourth quarter of 2014, a 10.6% drop for the quarter compared to an average decline for the year of about 4%.

“The change in behavior is stunning,” Alan Wurtzel, NBCUniversal’s audience research chief, told the New York Post. “I’ve never seen that kind of change in behavior.”

Wurtzel, meanwhile, said SVoD viewing is on the rise, up some 22% in the past year.

NBCU’s new head of digital enterprises, Evan Shapiro, who was a key player in launching Pivot, a cable TV and online service aimed at Millennials, is leading the OTT project.

Will ABC and Fox be the next players to join the OTT party?

Stay tuned.

Stay tuned.

Jim O’Neill is Editor of Videomind and Principal Analyst at Brightcove. You can follow him on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn