Comcast Integrates Apple TV Plus into Its U.S. Platforms
Apple's SVOD service is now supported by platforms including Xfinity X1, Flex and XClass TV
Comcast has announced the native integration of Apple TV Plus on its U.S. pay TV and retail platforms.
Starting Monday, Apple's SVOD service will be supported by Xfinity X and Xfinity Flex customer premises equipment, as well as smart TV's sold at Walmart powered by Comcast's XClass TV operating system.
Apple TV Plus users will have access to the same X1 Voice Remote experience that users of Netflix and other already embedded services do -- they can say things like "Watch Ted Lasso," and the hit Apple TV Plus series will deploy before their eyes.
Apple TV Plus already launched in December on Comcast's Sky devices (Sky Q and Sky Glass) in the UK and other parts of Europe.
To promote the integration, Apple will offer Xfinity X1, Flex and Stream customers, who are not already paying $4.99 a month to subscribe to its 28-month-old SVOD service, access to most popular Apple TV Plus original series and films from March 15-21.
If they sign up by April 25, these customers are also eligible for a three-month free trial of the service.
The move in some sense completes the full 180-degree turn made by both Apple and Comcast, which would have never imagined such an arrangement a decade ago. Apple, which used to confine its service's to its own devices, has proliferated Apple TV Plus to even Google TV.
Once looking to compete directly with services like Netflix and Apple TV Plus, Comcast has long ceded its video business to an "aggregator of aggregators" approach.
“With the launch of Apple TV Plus, our customers now have access to all of today’s most popular streaming services through our aggregated user experience and award-winning voice technology.” said Sam Schwartz, chief business development officer of Comcast, in a statement. “By leveraging our global technology platform, our partners can distribute apps on one tech stack to reach tens of millions of viewers.”
Added Peter Stern, Apple’s VP of services: “Apple TV Plus offers the highest quality programming from the finest creators in the world, and one of the best ways to enjoy it is on the big TV in your living room. Our work with Comcast lights up that experience for tens of millions of new devices, and we are thrilled that so many Comcast customers have a compelling way to enjoy their new favorite shows on Apple TV Plus."
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!