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Comcast “Watchable” reportedly launching soon to challenge YouTube

by Jacob Kleinman | August 14, 2015August 14, 2015 8:00 pm PDT

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Comcast’s promised YouTube competitor may finally launch in the near future, according to Business Insider. Citing several internal sources, the report claims the service, likely called ‘Watchable’, could arrive within the next few weeks.

The new service would offer a curated mix of videos from online media companies like Vox and BuzzFeed, both of which Comcast has already invested heavily in. Each partner apparently has to sign on for several years. They must also agree to upload all their original, unlicensed content to Watchable.

These videos will be be curated, bundled and streamed over Comcast’s Xfinity X1 cable boxes. The company currently has just a few million X1 units installed, but plans to bring that number into the tens of millions by 2017. Watchable may also expand to Android and iOS devices in the future.

The alleged new service in theory gives Comcast a way to compete directly with YouTube and Facebook video, while keeping its current customers from cutting the cord. It may also reduce the cable giant’s dependence on popular networks like ESPN and CNN. For video providers, this is an opportunity to reach a new audience and possibly transform from a website into a household brand.

We’re curious to see what Watchable looks like, assuming it actually launches in the near future. In the long run, though, Comcast may be fighting a losing battle against the growing number of happy cord cutters.

BI

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...

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