While it would appear on the surface that Comcast's new streaming video service, which it calls Xfinity Streampix, is an answering salvo to over-the-top competition such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, Comcast is positioning it as an additional feature to its stable of online video offerings.
The subscription service allows Comcast customers to watch movies and TV shows in and out of their homes. The content is initially available on iOS devices, but Comcast said Streampix would work with additional devices, such as Xbox 360 and Android, over the coming year.
Comcast spokeswoman Alana Davis said this morning that Streampix was designed to complement the 75,000 TV shows and movies currently available on Xfinity On Demand, on Web portal XfinityTV.com and through the Comcast Xfinity TV app.
Comcast signed licensing agreements with corporate brother NBCUniversal, Disney-ABC Television Group, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution and Cookie Jar Entertainment to provide movies and TVs shows for Streampix.
The plan is to show full seasons of past shows such as "30 Rock," "Lost" and "Grey's Anatomy," and older movies such as "When Harry Met Sally," as well as popular children's franchises through Streampix.
"This product was really built to complement what our customers already get," said Davis. "We definitely recognized that there was a marketplace for deep library content and past TV series. We really offer everything else to our customers, but that's one area that we could of pumped up a little bit, and that's what we did with Streampix."
Davis said Streampix gives Comcast subscribers a one-stop shop for all of their video needs, and while Comcast is saying the service doesn't compete directly with OTT providers, it could keep those subscribers from wandering over to other Internet streaming services. Davis said Comcast has no plans for offering the service out of its footprint.
Streampix will be included as part of some Xfinity triple-play packages or separately for an additional $4.99 a month with other video packages.
Marcien Jenckes, senior vice president and general manager of Comcast Video Services, wrote on Comcast's blog page that Streampix gave Comcast packaging and bundling flexibility for new and existing customers.
"Our goal is to consistently deliver greater value to our customers and to bring the best anytime, anywhere entertainment on multiple platforms," Jenckes said. "Streampix is another step moving TV Everywhere forward by giving customers access to an even greater library of popular choices to watch."