Xfinity TV customers will soon be able to enjoy Amazon’s Prime Video service directly from their set-top box. As Amazon and Comcast this week announced the start of a partnership which will see Prime Video being integrated with Comcast’s Xfinity X1 box. The announcement did not specifically mention when the integration would arrive and instead stated it will come “later this year.” However, it seems this will be a full-on integration with Xfinity TV customers not only gaining access to the “thousands of additional premium shows and movies” available through Prime Video, and in 4K Ultra HD and HDR where available, but more fundamental integration features, such as the ability to voice search and control Prime Video content with Comcast’s X1 remote control.
From Amazon’s perspective, not only is this likely to result in more people using its Prime Video service, but it seems the integration also opens the door for those customers to subscribe to various networks and channels through Amazon’s Prime Video Channels service. Which, technically speaking, would under normal circumstances be considered somewhat of a rival to the service offered by Comcast to Xfinity TV customers. Although that is less of the case here as Comcast has been increasingly looking to bridge the gap between traditional cable TV and streaming options over the last year – Comcast already offers both YouTube and Netflix to those who use an Xfinity X1 box, as well as music streaming through Pandora. This is all in addition to its own Xfinity On Demand service which works like most on-demand options by providing customers with a choice of when, and on what device they consume media.
These various moves by Comcast are representative of the forward-thinking approach it has taken to combat the increase in awareness of cord-cutting services. A point somewhat highlighted in this announcement with Comcast staying the Prime Video X1 deal marks “the first time” such an integration has occurred “on an MVPD platform in the US.” Likewise, Comcast’s President of Consumer Services, Dana Strong stated in the announcement, the goal is “to give customers easy access to all their favorite content in one place.” Which is likely where the added value comes in for Comcast, as with YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video all accessible through an X1 set-top box, there is less of a need for those customers to consider adding a dedicated cord-cutting hardware solution to their home entertainment setup. This sort of approach was recently touched upon in a report which suggested more pay-TV and content providers would forge partnerships (much like this) with over-the-top solutions going forward – as a means to mitigate against an even faster than expected level of cord-cutting adoption.
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