Here’s something we never expected to hear:
“Comcast and Netflix have reached an agreement to incorporate Netflix into X1, providing seamless access to the great content offered by both companies. We have much work to do before the service will be available to consumers later this year. We’ll provide more details at that time.” (h/t Recode)
It turns out that, despite the natural differences between a service like Netflix and a cable company like Comcast, the two have formed an alliance to partner on content distribution.
At the end of the day, and despite the cord cutter movement, Netflix is still second fiddle to cable subscriptions, and with nearly 50 million domestic subscribers, its reach has likely started to slow in the United States. So partnering with cable certainly makes sense on that front, in order to grow the total number of people paying for Netflix with easier access to their library.
For Comcast, the deal is a great way to establish itself more in the SVOD marketplace. Comcast has said it’s not necessarily afraid of cord cutting, but a partnership with Netflix makes it clear they’re certainly interested in keeping their eyes on streaming movies and television. They are, after all, planning on rolling out streaming-only packages at some point in the near future.
What will be interesting is the perception changes here. Comcast is often times ranked atop the list of worst companies every year, and Netflix almost always near the top of favorite companies. Will a partnership do anything to help or hurt these respective reputations?
Netflix has relied heavily on third party platforms in the past, such as Apple TV and smart television sets, and of course phone app stores, in order to be available on any device where streaming is an option (still waiting for that Apple Watch streaming experience).
Not many official details have been mapped out between the two companies, but check back for updates as they reveal themselves.