Com­cast to plan new video ser­vice for dig­i­tal pub­lish­ers

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

LOS AN­GE­LES: Com­cast Corp. plans to in­tro­duce a video ser­vice later this year fea­tur­ing con­tent from pop­u­lar online web­sites such as Vice Media and Vox Media, in which it re­cently in­vested, a per­son close to Com­cast said. The largest U.S. ca­ble com­pany also has deals with the online com­edy site the Onion and Awe­some­nessTV, the teen-fo­cused chan­nel owned by DreamWorks An­i­ma­tion SKG Inc., said the per­son, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied be­cause the mat­ter is pri­vate. Com­cast is still in talks with Buz­zFeed and other dig­i­tal pub­lish­ers to fea­ture their con­tent on the new plat­form, which will be called Watch­able, the per­son said.

Watch­able marks the latest ef­fort by Com­cast to ap­peal to younger sub­scribers who of­ten forgo ca­ble-TV for online al­ter­na­tives like Net­flix Inc. or Google Inc.'s YouTube. The ser­vice will also have a sep­a­rate mo­bile app on Ap­ple and An­droid de­vices, ac­cord­ing to the per­son. The videos will be avail­able on Com­cast's X1 set-top box, which gives video sub­scribers the abil­ity to buy or rent TV shows and films much the way that Ap­ple does through iTunes.

Com­cast has been in­vest­ing in online prop­er­ties and of­fer­ing dig­i­tal ser­vices to cap­ture the growth in online TV view­ing. Last week, the com­pany's NBCUniver­sal unit an­nounced it made a $200 mil­lion eq­uity in­vest­ment in Vox Media, the online pub­lisher of The Verge, Eater and Re/code. And last month, Com­cast said it will of­fer a Web-based TV ser­vice called Stream with about a dozen chan­nels for $15 a month to its In­ter­net cus­tomers. For dig­i­tal pub­lish­ers, get­ting video con­tent in front of Com­cast video sub­scribers may help reach an even larger au­di­ence than they do online. Com­cast has about 22 mil­lion ca­ble-TV cus­tomers.

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