March 21, 2019
Comcast Cable has finally joined the over-the-top video ecosystem with the launch of Xfinity Flex — a $5 monthly service offering Xfinity broadband-only subscribers direct access (for a separate fee) to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and HBO Now, in addition to ad-supported content, and digital movies for sale and rent.
Xfinity Flex comes with more than 10,000 free online movies and TV shows — including live streaming TV — from ESPN3, Xumo, Pluto, Tubi TV, Cheddar, YouTube and more.
The service features an integrated guide and voice control, enabling customers to browse and access programming across Netflix, Prime Video, HBO, and Showtime, rent and purchase movies and shows from the digital store, access their digital lockers across platforms by pairing their account with Movies Anywhere, or listen to music from Pandora, iHeartRadio, and XITE.
And soon, Xfinity Flex subs will be able to upgrade to the full Xfinity X1 cable service from the guide, which offers hundreds of live channels, tens of thousands of on demand titles, and a cloud DVR.
The service comes as Apple and Disney ready branded OTT video platforms, with WarnerMedia slated to launch a competing service in 2020.
“[The Internet] is becoming the center of gravity as we move more and more toward connectivity,” Matthew Strauss, EVP of Xfinity Services told CNET, which is owned by CBS Interactive.
Strauss said the service would underscore Comcast’s ongoing strategy tying the Internet and television through the cloud-based Xfinity set-top.
“[We want consumers] to start thinking of the television as a digital display,” Strauss said.
Specifically, Xfinity Flex will be packaged with an Internet-connected, 4K HDR streaming TV device, which includes a voice remote, integrated guide for accessing popular streaming video and music choices, as well as Comcast’s home WiFi, mobile, security and automation services.
“Xfinity Flex will deepen our relationship with a certain segment of our Internet customers and provide them with real value,” Strauss said.
As more connected devices, streaming choices, and smart home services come online, Xfinity Flex will provide customers with an easy way to better manage, control and enjoy the connected home as it continues to grow.