By Evan DeSimone
SeeSo, which will launch in beta this December and roll out wide in in January will leverage NBC’s extensive comedy library along with a stacked slate of “big niche” comedy originals. (Learn more about SeeSo’s slate HERE) According to Evan Shapiro, NBCU’s EVP of Digital Enterprises the product will function as a digital channel rather than a streaming platform delivering content in a format more familiar to linear television than today’s big umbrella streamers.
In an effort to crack the problem of content discovery the new platform will leverage human curators, including both internal specialists and celebrity comedy pros, to recommend new content for viewers. The SeeSo team is hoping for a trickledown effect wherein tentpole NBC comedy brands like SNL lead viewers to classic licensed properties like “The Kids In The Hall” and fresh original sketch comedy exclusive to see so like the upcoming “The UCB Show” from the founders of expansive improv school The Upright Citizens Brigade.
Among the spate of new streaming launches one of SeeSo’s stand out features is windowing model. Unlike other services that have offered time limited free trials to hook viewers SeeSo is offering an indefinite window to non-subscribers. Viewers will have access to a raft of daily content including the next day clips from NBC’s late night slate, original comedy clips, select episodes from the NBC comedy library, and first episodes of all new original series. It should be noted that much of the daily content available to non-subscribers is also available on destinations like Hulu and Youtube, where NBC recently negotiated an agreement to sell ads against their content independently. Those agreements won’t change with the launch of SeeSo.
If there was one takeaway from SeeSo’s big debut it’s that NBCU doesn’t want you to think of this as a streaming service, but rather as a channel that happens to distribute content on digital rather than linear platforms. Priced at $3.99 SeeSo is positioned as a compliment to rather than a competitor for big box streaming services like Netflix and linear cable packages like those so famously sold by NBCU parent company Comcast.