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Comcast Shifts ‘Streampix’ Strategy

Comcast’s Netflix-like “Streampix” service will carry on, but the MSO is making big changes to the way it will sell and market the multiscreen subscription VOD service to its customer base.

Comcast confirmed that it is decommissioning its Streampix mobile apps and the Streampix Web site, and will stop selling Streampix to broadband-only customers. However, the Streampix service will continue to be sold as an a la carte option, or given away as a perk, to customers who take certain bundled service packages.

A Comcast spokeswoman said a small number of broadband-only customers in one region were being offered Streampix. Comcast declined to say how many broadband-only customers there signed up for Streampix, which Comcast sells for $4.99 per month.

The shift in the Streampix distribution strategy came up last week in Comcast’s 300 page-plus filing (PDF) on its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable.

Comcast launched Streampix in February 2012. Streampix started off as a streaming-only offering, and added a download capability to the mix late last year. Comcast has been selling Streampix as a standalone for $4.99 per month, but has also been using it as a complementary multiscreen service with premium-level service bundles, including its triple-play offerings.

In the filing, Comcast said Streampix failed to catch on as a premium, stand-alone video streaming service.  

While Comcast “sought to create excitement around Streampix by offering the online version through a unique online site and app, and offered Streampix to a small number of Xfinity broadband-only customers in one  region, these attracted minimal interest: both the site and the app are being decommissioned, and the standalone offer  was discontinued. Going forward, Streampix will simply be part of the Xfinity TV app and  website like other VOD offerings,” the MSO said. 

Similar language now shows up on the Streampix Apple App Store and Google Play pages: “Streampix has moved to XFINITY TV Go. Comcast customers with Streampix should download XFINITY TV Go to view Streampix content.”

In the filing, Comcast shot down notions from merger commenters that Streampix was being developed to as a launch point of an over-the-top, out-of-footprint subscription video platform.

“It is a branded VOD offering, available on Comcast’s set-top boxes; its unique claim is simply that in assembling the service, Comcast set out to acquire full online rights as well, and highlighted the over-the-top access of the network.”

Despite Comcast’s struggles with Streampix, that hasn’t stopped other MVPDs from developing and launching broadband-fed SVOD services. Canadian operators Rogers Communications and Shaw Communications, which have been grappling with Netflix for about four years, are set to launch their multiscreen streaming service, “shomi” in beta form sometime next month.