Comcast is currently working on a new digital video platform called “Watchable,” with plans to launch later this year with some major partners. According to Business Insider, the service will stream through Xfinity boxes, likely include advertising, and repackage content already available online.
So far, the cable company has recruited leading digital publishers like Vox and BuzzFeed, as well as AwesomenessTV, The Onion, Refinery29, NBC Sports, Mic, and Vice. In the coming years, Comcast will swap its customers’ existing cable boxes for the Xfinity X1 box.
Watchable appears to be positioned as a way to one-up both Verizon–which purchased AOL as part of its own ad-centric efforts–and social media sites like YouTube and Facebook, which largely monopolize the online video market. In turn, the content creators featured on Comcast’s service will get a chance to port their videos to television for viewers who don’t use streaming platforms like Apple TV, Chromecast, or Roku.
In April, The Information wrote that Comcast was considering launching a video platform.
This week, Comcast-owned NBCUniversal clinched its deal to invest $200 million in Vox, and is preparing to invest the same in BuzzFeed.
We have reached out to Comcast for comment, and will update this post when we hear back.
[via Business Insider]