Netflix and Comcast are two companies no one ever thought would join forces. But they have. And the partnership is shaping up to be a global takeover (a little exaggerated, but probably not). Starting next week, the Comcast X1 cable boxes will host Netflix. This is a huge advancement for the streaming company that will expand their reach even further.
This pairing does sound quite strange in the fact that these companies are competitors. Comcast represents the traditional big bad wolf of cable TV, while Netflix flaunts its new age, cordless revolution. So why are they developing a symbiotic relationship? Netflix CEO Reed Hastings weighed in on what the partnership will actually do for Netflix:
It's a big boost in the number of households that can get Netflix on their TV.
Netflix's slowing U.S. subscriber growth currently rests at 47 million. So far, its 2.76 million domestic subscribers added over the first nine months of 2016 represent a 32% decline from new additions over the same period last year.
The X1 platform has given Comcast a bit of a boost. While the overall pay-TV industry has seen a decline in subscribing homes, Comcast has added 170,000 video subscribers over the past twelve months. According to Comcast CEO Neil Smit, X1 is something like a DVR, but on steroids:
It's improved video on-demand purchases. We have a cloud DVR that stores all your content in the cloud and you can access it from different places. People are purchasing more services because they are available and easy to use.
The bottom line, according to Hastings, is that Netflix and Comcast working together represents cable meeting streaming. "Fundamentally, we are a channel like HBO," Hastings said. "We have got amazing content. So, from the consumer's perspective, we ought to be integrated."
[H/T USA Today]