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Comcast is launching a new streaming video service called Xfinity Streampix, which takes aim at similar services from Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime.
The move is most likely a response to the growing number of people who are ditching their expensive cable TV subscriptions and relying on the web (as well as premium streaming services) to fulfill their video consumption needs. That said, Streampix isn’t a direct competitor of Netflix because it isn’t a standalone service.
Streampix, which goes live Feb. 23, is only available to Comcast customers with a double- or triple-play subscription package. That means you have to be subscribed to both the TV service as well as an internet or regular telephone plan to be eligible. For those with a more basic subscription service, Comcast is charging an additional monthly fee of $4.99.
While you’re still likely to spend upwards of $100 per month to Comcast to quench your third for video entertainment, you’ll at least be gaining a “streaming anywhere” service that’s cheaper than Netflix and Hulu Plus ($7.99 per month each). In terms of content, Streampix will offer programming from Disney-ABC Television Group, NBCUniversal, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution and children’s entertainment network Cookie Jar. When you combine that with what’s already available on Comcast’s Xfinity TV service, it’s a decent amount of content.
“We also recognize there’s a marketplace for streaming deeper-library movies and TV shows and that’s where Streampix comes in,” wrote SVP of Comcast Video services Marcien Jenckes in a recent blog post. “With Xfinity Streampix, we’re adding more past season TV shows, more movies and more value to our customers’ subscriptions.”
Like Netflix, Streampix will also be available on multiple platforms, such as Xbox 360, web browser, iOS devices, and Android devices.
I’m curious to see how this pans out for Comcast in the long run. Streampix is likely to attract people who are more or less satisfied with their current cable TV subscription, but curious about streaming services like Netflix. But Netflix is definitely hustling, offering its own original programing and signing exclusive licensing deals with notable film studios like The Weinstein Company. Plus, Netflix is only $7.99 per month plus the cost of a reliable internet connection.