Comcast has unveiled more details about its SVOD service it is titling Xfinity Instant TV. The service, which could cost around $15/mo, is the company’s latest strategy in attracting a younger audience who are more accustomed to OTT platforms and the low cost they come with. According to the telco company, the service could be launched sometime during the second half of the year.
“[Instant TV] is not something that we’ll do broad-based in terms of our approach to the market,” said Dave Watson, Comcast Cable’s president and CEO. “This is going to be very targeted, primarily digital in nature in how we do it.”
Xfinity Instant could be a nice turn around for Comcast, which lost 45,000 video subs in Q2 and has regularly been labeled one of the worst cable providers in the country. Of course, the company’s push into OTT won’t be all rainbows and butterflies. It will have to compete with a slate of other telcos such as AT&T, DishTV, and Verizon who have already planted their roots in the OTT soil. And even if the company does succeed in attracting an audience to its new platform, it still might not be enough to level out the damage caused by a loss in customers.
DishTV’s Sling-TV, which was one of the first OTT services to be launched by a telco, has experienced much success since its launch in 2015 and now has a subscriber base of 2 million, but these high subscriber rates haven’t been enough to offset the damage from a loss in satellite subscribers. Before Sling TV launched in the first quarter of 2015, Dish had 13.98 million subscribers. Last quarter, Dish reported just 13.53 million subscribers. While Sling has added around 2 million subscribers, Dish’s satellite business has lost approximately 2.5 million. And on top of that, Sling TV subscribers generate lower revenue than satellite customers, which is causing the company’s average revenue per user (ARPU) to trend downwards.
Xfinity Instant, which has been tested in markets such as Chicago and Boston, will be sold in Comcast’s traditional cable footprint.