As of September 12, subscribers to Comcast’s Xfinity TV service will be able to access YouTube directly through the company’s Xfinity X1 platform. That’s according to a joint announcement from Comcast and Google that was posted to the service provider’s official site – which effectively confirms speculation about YouTube integration from earlier this year. In addition to providing access to YouTube videos more directly through an on-device app, the new partnership with Google also means that featured videos from YouTube will now appear alongside other content throughout the Xfinity On Demand menus. Perhaps most appealing of all, voice controls will also work with the application and content thanks to the X1’s universal voice-enabled remote. That means users can now launch and search YouTube for content to play, simply by saying “YouTube.” In another example, a user could also simply ask YouTube to find movie trailers or content from specific celebrities and more, across a wide variety of categories, to find media more generally.
While the details of the deal itself were not provided alongside the announcement, Comcast Executive of Xfinity Services Matt Strauss says that the company is excited to be able to provide even more content as part of a more unified platform. Strauss goes on to say that “adding billions of YouTube videos” to Comcast’s existing video platform allows the company to take its role as an “aggregator of aggregators” even further than before. Speaking for Google’s YouTube division, CBO Robert Kyncl says that the deal is significant because YouTube is growing faster in the living room than anywhere else. That allows the company to “supercharge” its distribution, as well as provide the extra convenience to Xfinity X1 users.
For customers who aren’t quite ready to talk to their TV, the company says the YouTube app can be accessed by navigating to the Apps and Networks section of their X1 device. Aside from providing access to the media content itself, users will also be able to use the on-device app to adjust their own personal YouTube settings and subscriptions in much the same way as can be accomplished through either the YouTube website or mobile application. That means using the app on X1 should be a fairly intuitive experience for anybody already accustomed to using the service.
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