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Comcast plans to take on YouTube and facebook with ‘Watchable’

by Bharath ChowdaryAugust 15, 2015

Comcast is preparing to launch a major new video platform with content from big name partners in the coming weeks.

The platform is currently called “Watchable,” but there’s a small chance that could change before launch.

Comcast is partnering with major digital publishers like Comcast-backed Vox and Buzzfeed, lifestyle and comedy sites like AwesomenessTV, Refinery29 and The Onion, news sites like Mic and Vice, as well as legacy brands like NBC Sports to come up with a widespread digital video platform that will rival YouTube and Facebook’s online video efforts.

It will also rival the rumored video platform Verizon is preparing to unveil.

The full list of partnering media companies is still being determined, sources say, but participants are committing to Comcast for up to a few years. As part of the partnership, the publishers have agreed to upload all unlicensed, original video content to Watchable for users to stream on demand. The content from the publishers will be bundled and curated for Comcast’s millions of Xfinity box owners, and eventually Watchable will also be available on iOS and Android devices.

xfinity

Comcast already has a smart TV solution called Xfinity. The Xfinity set-top boxes allow users to stream unlimited amounts of movies and shows on demand from their televisions or mobile devices.

Over the next few years, sources say, Comcast plans to switch out all of its subscribers’ boxes for Xfinity boxes, which could extend a platform like Watchable from just a few million households today to tens of millions of Comcast subscriber homes by 2017.

Comcast will be pushing all its cable customers to switch over to Xfinity boxes over the next few years, where “Watchable” can be streamed.

Comcast is hoping to establish itself as the digital video advertising leader, sources familiar with Watchable say.

Source: Business Insider

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