by Sarah Perez (@sarahintampa)
September 30, 2015
As an increasing number of cable and satellite TV subscribers are cutting the cord – or never signing up for television in the first place – the traditional pay TV industry is scrambling to figure out how to compete in this new age of over-the-top services, on-demand streaming, and viewing that takes place on a variety of platforms beyond the living room’s big screen. We’ve seen pay TV providers like Verizon, Comcast and Dish more recently entering the space with streaming services of their own.
But this week, Comcast also debuted an additional effort at capturing mindshare and market share in this changing landscape with the debut of its online and mobile streaming service called Watchable.
News of Comcast’s plans for Watchable emerged earlier this year, when the company was said to be working on a video service that would feature content from sites it has invested in, like Vice Media and Vox Media, as well as other online sites and channels including The Onion, AwesomenessTV, and others.
Now that service is available in beta, for X1 customers via set-top boxes, on the web, and via a mobile application that’s initially available for iOS devices.
Included at launch are the above names as well as a number of other online networks like Discovery Digital Networks, Jukin Media, Newsy, Tastemade, Network A, Fast Company, Machinima, PopSugar, TYT Network, BuzzFeed, Flama, Mashable, Celeb TV, Refinery 29, Scripps Networks Interactive, NBCUniversal, GoPro, Mic, Disney’s Maker Studios, Red Bull, Defy Media, Collective Digital Studio, TEN, Video Detective, GarageMonkey, Future Today.
That means Watchable will deliver a number of popular shows catering to the millennial crowd, including Vice, DNews, The Young Turks, Day of Gluttony, SMOSH, and Clevver alongside news and sports programming.
In total, there are 30 content partners available at launch and Comcast says that more will be added over time.