By Evan DeSimone
With CBS, HBO and Showtime all announcing standalone over-the-top streaming services, Comcast has shown that it has no intention of being left behind. Today, the cable provider announced the aptly-named Stream, its own web-based television product that will allow users to access live television from a bundle of nearly a dozen broadcast and cable networks, including HBO. Comcast is rolling the service out slowly, starting with Boston, Chicago and Seattle later this year, before making it available to Comcast internet subscribers nationwide by early 2016.
The price for the new service is set at $15, placing it within range of competitors like Netflix as well as HBO’s standalone service HBONow, which is currently priced lower, with an annual subscription running around $10 per month. Stream comes at a good time for Comcast, as younger consumers either abandon cable packages for streaming or never sign up at all. With its competitive price tag and the added lure of HBO, Stream is poised to help Comcast recapture coveted millennial eyes.
A statement from Comcast stressed the ease of subscribing to Stream, distancing the company from its reputation for complex bundles and cable packages that are difficult to change or unsubscribe from. Comcast internet users only need to download the Xfinity TV app to get started. However, the app is only available to Comcast internet subscribers, making it an unlikely candidate for mass adoption.