Comcast to Provide Streaming Service Through X1 Set-Top Box

Comcast will test a streaming service later this year in order to give audiences access to a wider variety of content through its X1 cable set-top boxes. The service will be similar to YouTube in that is will allow people to upload videos directly to a server. A dedicated app will then make the content available on a streaming basis along with mobile apps in 2015 or 2016. SVP of Video Matt Strauss explains that the focus will be on professionally-produced and serialized content.

comcast2Advertising, as well as transaction fees, may be offered as monetization options. Comcast’s acquisition of Freewheel, an online video ad specialist, could be applied to the new streaming service.

“However, Strauss said that adding online video to its set-top boxes isn’t just about making more money, but also about reducing churn. The goal was to target smaller audiences that see high value in certain types of niche content, he said, which have been underserved by the traditional cable line-up,” reports GigaOM.

QAM transmission technology has held back the cable industry as it only allows operators to carry a limited number of channels.

“With Internet video, Comcast would be able to carry a virtually unlimited number of channels, and Strauss mentioned foreign-language TV channels, which could appeal to expats but aren’t widely available on traditional cable line-ups, as one of the areas his company is very interested in,” notes GigaOM.

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