American telco Comcast is getting into the online video game, as predicted a few weeks ago, with a service called Watchable. It has launched in the US as an online and mobile video service available to anyone, not just Comcast’s customers. And it has a roster of 30 content partners heavy in multi-channel networks (MCNs) and digital studios, from Vice and BuzzFeed to AwesomenessTV and Maker Studios. Missing from the launch is music: no Vevo, for example, although Comcast said it will add more partners over time.
“We think Watchable can be a unique place that curates and distributes the best content from some of the most recognised brands and producers on the web,” explained the company. “Plus, many of our Watchable partners have not traditionally had distribution on the TV and we can give them a path to reach new audiences and further monetise their content on the biggest screen in the home.” That’s the key pitch here: the ability to make more money for the MCNs from audiences – Comcast’s 22m TV subscribers included – who might not be already watching them on YouTube.