Major cable company may launch video platform to take on YouTube


Major US cable and media company Comcast is on the verge of launching a video platform that could take on YouTube and Facebook.

"Watchable" will be a video platform with heavyweight publishing partners, according to Business Insider. The name could change, and we may know for sure if it's launched in the coming weeks, as reported.

Comcast, which just this week invested $200 million in Vox Media via Comcast-owned NBCUniversal, is apparently teaming up with Vox and BuzzFeed (which NBCU is also investing in, though the deal remains unofficial), for content.

But that's not all: AwesomenessTV, Refinery29, The Onion, Mic, Vice and NBC Sports also reportedly plan to partner with Comcast for "a widespread digital-video platform."

In deals that last for "a few years," the partners will send all unlicensed, original videos to Watchable users, who can then stream it on demand, according to BI. Xfinity X1 set-top box owners will apparently receive bundled and customized vids, and, at some point, Watchable will arrive on iOS and Android.

The X1 boxes are key components to Comcast's plans for digital video domination: By 2017, Comcast will reportedly pull all its normal cable boxes and swap them for X1 set-tops, spreading Watchable's reach far and wide.

Comcast's reason to go this route doesn't really have to do with delivering quality content. As noted by BI, the firm wants to suck up ad dollars in the red-hot digital video space. The company already owns a fair chunk of this market, but doesn't want to lose ground as more video platforms pop up (and current ones get smarter about maximizing advertising).

A silver lining for viewers who don't want to watch Watchable is that content will reportedly still be on Facebook through native posting.

We'll keep our ears to the ground for further developments, so stay tuned for more.

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.