updated 01:50 pm EST, Tue February 21, 2012
Comcast tries Internet VOD to fend off rivals
Comcast on Tuesday tried its hand at mitigating the impact of Internet video on traditional TV by launching Streampix. The service will include a mix of movies and TV shows across its own NBCUniversal as well as Disney, Sony, and Warner Bros. Access won't be confined to Comcast's own network and should include mobile and computer access to some content that would normally go through Comcast's traditional video on demand.
As with Comcast's earlier services, Streampix is designed to protect its traditional business and requires some level of Comcast TV subscription. Most subscribers will need to pay $5 per month for access, although those who subscriber to TV, Internet, and landline phone service will get it for free.
Access should be available this week.
The service is a way of funneling revenue back into Comcast that would otherwise go to Netflix, pay-per-title services like iTunes, or even Comcast's partnership with Hulu through its ownership of NBC. Apart from short-term revenue, it also theoretically keeps customers from relying more on outside, Internet-only services and raising the possibility of customers dropping regular TV.
Nielsen data has shown cord-cutting on the rise as some find a combination of free-to-air broadcast TV and Internet video enough to replace a relatively expensive cable or satellite TV bundle.