netflix tvSubscribers to Netflix and Comcast Xfinity video service will have full access to Netflix content via Comcast’s X1 platform and enabled devices, thanks for a Comcast Netflix deal announced today. The agreement may be the most significant example of a cable pay-TV services provider joining forces with an OTT video streaming competitor.

Netflix content will be fully integrated into Comcast’s Xfinity On Demand category, the companies highlighted in a press release. “The Netflix integration into the X1 platform means our mutual customers will no longer need to change inputs or juggle remotes,” Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings said in a statement about the Comcast Netflix deal. “Now they can seamlessly move between the Netflix app and their cable service, enjoying all the TV shows and movies they love without hassle.”

Comcast Netflix Deal
According to the news release, X1 Xfinity subscribers with Netflix subscriptions will be able to:

  • Launch the Netflix app by simply saying “Netflix” into the X1 voice remote
  • Browse Netflix content alongside other on demand movies and shows
  • Search for an actor like “Adam Sandler” or “Kevin Spacey” and see everything they are in, across both Xfinity and Netflix
  • Start from the beginning of long-running shows like The Walking Dead or Scandal — with all prior seasons from Netflix and the current season from Xfinity — available in one place

Viewers with subscriptions to both Xfinity On Demand and Netflix will need to sign in when accessing Netflix on X1 for the first time. X1 Xfinity on Demand subscribers will be able to sign up for Netflix membership directly and begin using it immediately. The subscription fee will be added to their Comcast bills.

Comcast launched its OTT X1 video platform in May 2012. Management says half of subscribing video customer households will have access to X1 by the end of they year.

Comcast X1 Netflix Integration (Source: Netflix)
Comcast X1 Netflix Integration (Source: Netflix)

Technologically, the announcement marks what may be considered a milestone in cable TV provider efforts to incorporate Internet connectivity, functionality and features into their legacy platforms.

“Netflix has been a terrific partner, and our incredible teams of engineers and designers have come together to create an experience that is not only seamless and intuitive, but also lets viewers search and watch tens of thousands of movies, shows, specials and documentaries with the sound of their voice,” Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit said.

Cable pay-TV subscribers who stack OTT services on top of their traditional cable or satellite services are more satisfied than those who subscribe exclusively to cable, satellite or OTT video services, according to a J.D. Power market research report released in August.

Sixty percent of streaming services customers are “cord stackers,¨ according to J.D. Power. Another 23 percent are ¨cord shavers¨ who have downgraded their pay-TV subscriptions while 13 percent are outright ¨cord cutters.” Another four percent have never subscribed to a pay-TV service and subscribe to a streaming service, J.D. Power highlighted.

Image courtesy of flickr user Javier Domínguez Ferreiro.

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