Comcast is adding another X factor to its Xfinity X1 pay TV service: YouTube.
The nation’s largest cable TV provider, later this year, will add Google’s streaming video network to its X1 system, available in 50% of its 22.5 million homes.
YouTube content will show up alongside other on-demand content and be searchable using the X1 voice remote. Comcast CEO Brian Roberts demonstrated YouTube on Xfinity X1 Monday at Morgan Stanley’s Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco.
He showed how a search for The Voice, the music reality show from Comcast-owned NBC Universal, included online-only The Voice YouTube videos in addition to scheduled NBC broadcasts. And his voice search quickly found Buzzfeed’s video of making a watermelon explode by wrapping it with rubber bands.
X1 subscribers can also use the YouTube app, if they prefer, just as they can use the Netflix app, which Comcast began rolling out in November 2016. Netflix movies and episodes are integrated into the X1’s on-demand offerings, too.
Comcast now worries less about whether adding services such as Netflix and YouTube, to some considered competition to linear TV, and more about keeping customers happy, Roberts said. “In a few seconds you are going from (Netflix series) Stranger Things or (NBC’s) This Is Us to exploding watermelons,” Roberts said. “I think that is sort of our vision of how to keep innovating. We’ll keep being the aggregator of aggregators.”
Comcast also today is scheduled to launch a new Xfinity Stream app, an upgrade to the Xfinity TV app. Subscribers can stream more than 200 live channels at home and on the go, as well as view on-demand content. DVR recordings can be watched or downloaded to view offline.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Mike Snider on Twitter: @MikeSnider.
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