Comcast To Reportedly Take On YouTube, Facebook With “Watchable” Online Video Platform

Comcast didn’t just sink $200 million into Vox Media (and a reportedly similar amount into BuzzFeed) just because it wants to support some websites it likes. The cable/broadcast giant is reportedly looking to launch an online video platform that would include new original content from these sites and other popular sources.

This is according to Business Insider, which reports that the platform is currently dubbed “Watchable,” which is not exactly a rousing endorsement of quality.

“Hey Jim, what’s that video you’re looking at?”

“It’s Watchable.”

“Oh.” (awkward silence)

BI’s sources say that Comcast is teaming up with new partner Vox (and purported partner BuzzFeed), along with other sites like Mic, Vice, The Onion (which recently launched “Edge,” a hilarious takedown of Vice’s macho-hipster you-are-there video reports), AwesomenessTV, and Refinery29.

Comcast also has an established staple of online news, sports, and entertainment content from its various NBCUniversal properties.

The partners would sign multi-year deals that would have them uploading all of their video content to Watchable, which would launch on Comcast’s X1 platform, then become available to a wider audience on mobile devices. BI reports that these deals are nonexclusive, so content publishers aren’t limited as to where they can post their videos.

And again, this isn’t just about putting together content you might enjoy. There’s money to be made from advertising. Comcast can help put these videos before a larger audience, resulting in more ad revenue for it and the content partners.

“Comcast is currently the largest seller of video ads in the United States,” one source explains to BI. “As platforms shift to digital, Comcast doesn’t want to lose market share, but they’re losing it to YouTube and Facebook.”

We’ve reached out to Comcast for comment on the BI report and will update if we get a comment from the company.

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