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Comcast’s planned streaming service not a YouTube competitor

June 12, 2014

Cable giant Comcast is developing a new video streaming platform for its X1 cable set-top boxes, StreamDaily has confirmed.

The news was first reported Tuesday by tech blog Gigaom.

However, sources say that contrary to reports the service will not be positioned as a “YouTube competitor.” The Google-owned platform has a (nearly) unlimited deluge of user-generated content, which is a category that Comcast’s streaming service would keep away from. Instead, it will feature a curated selection of short and long-form videos from the media company’s non-linear content partners.

The service, with no defined launch date, will be in the spirit of its offerings from organizations such as the Red Nation Film Festival, which Comcast partnered with last fall to present a collection of free movies, TV specials on its Xfinity On Demand, Xfinity.com/TV and Xfinity TV Go platforms.

Although Comcast did not confirm whether this would be an ad-supported platform, the company’s SVP of video Matt Strauss told Giagom that advertising could be one way to monetize the content.

An ad-supported platform would be a unique move for Comcast as its other services require a cable subscription to access. However, earlier this year the company acquired FreeWheel, a company that inserts personalized ads into online video content.