Netflix and Comcast have today announced that Comcast cable customers will finally be able to access Netflix content.
The news comes four months after the duo first announced a partnership and almost two months after a beta version of the service was introduced through the Comcast Labs area of the X1 set-top box. Now, however, Netflix is ready for prime time on the country’s biggest cable operator, with its video streaming service showing up in the main menu. That said, the companies have issued a conflicting statement that suggests the full rollout may not actually take place until next week.
Netflix has often found itself at loggerheads with cable companies, as more and more so-called cord-cutters ditch their cable subscriptions for monthly internet streaming packages. While Comcast has long resisted the push to cater to standalone internet TV services, the Netflix partnership represents a milestone moment for TV entertainment in the U.S.
Today’s news comes less than a month after Netflix reported that it had added more than 3.5 million members globally in Q3 2016, taking its total tally to 86.74 million subscribers. With that in mind, the Comcast deal represents a win-win for all concerned — it gives Comcast a distinct advantage over competitors such as Verizon and Roku and keeps customers from flirting with multiple services to access Netflix. For Netflix, this serves as a massive opportunity to gain further mindshare and sign up new customers in the U.S. And for customers, well, this deal removes the friction of switching between cable and Netflix.
“The Netflix integration into the X1 platform means our mutual customers will no longer need to change inputs or juggle remotes,” said Netflix cofounder and CEO Reed Hastings, in a statement. “Now they can seamlessly move between the Netflix app and their cable service, enjoying all the TV shows and movies they love without hassle.”
It’s worth noting here that this is more than simply launching an app on the Comcast set-top box. The integration means that Netflix can be launched by voice command using the X1 remote. Its content has also been ushered in alongside Comcast’s other on-demand programming, meaning that searches will simultaneously surface shows across both Netflix and Comcast.
Additionally, those signing up to Netflix through Comcast will be able to have their subscription bundled in alongside their usual cable bill, thus addressing so-called subscription fatigue.