Comcast is courting cord cutters with a new streaming video product called Xfinity Flex.
The service, which will launch March 26, will serve as an internet-enabled platform through which the telecom giant’s broadband customers can stream content from subscription services like Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video or free, ad-supported programming from YouTube, Tubi and others.
Matt Strauss, executive vp Xfinity services, described the offering as Comcast’s response to app fatigue among consumers and said it was “about aggregating the experience of all the different content within these apps.”
Flex will cost $5 for people who already subscribe to Comcast’s internet offering. A subscription comes with a 4K, ultra-HD streaming TV box and a voice-controlled remote.
Through the service people can sign up or access existing subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix, Prime Video, HBO and Epix. It will also offer music streaming through services like Pandora and iHeartRadio and thousands of ad-supported titles. Subscribers will be able to buy and rent titles and upgrade to Comcast’s live TV package as well.
With Flex, Comcast becomes the latest company to enter a new battleground emerging in the age of streaming: service as the platform through which consumers access their video subscriptions. Amazon already offers a program where people can subscribe to third-party, stand-alone streaming services such as Starz and Epix. And Apple is expected to launch its own bundle of these services during its March 25 event in Cupertino, California.
Strauss said Comcast’s strategy is to serve as the aggregator “who can bring all of these choices together and have that extend into the digital home.”