Just ahead of when Apple plans to launch a new subscription video service that will give customers access to bundled cable channels, Comcast has introduced Xfinity Flex, a streaming service that combines video on demand content, ad-supported, free live streaming content, and access to add-on subscription apps.
Xfinity Flex is priced at $5 per month and is available to customers who subscribe to Comcast's Xfinity internet service. It comes with a 4K set-top box and X1 voice remote for accessing content.
Comcast says that thousands of free movies and shows will be offered, with free content from Tubi TV, YouTube, Xumo, Pluto TV, and more offered alongside subscription content from apps like Netflix, HBO, EPIX, and Prime Video. It will also be paired with podcasts and music services from Pandora, iHeart Radio, NPR One, among others.
The app will have an interface that's not unlike the interface of the Apple TV, with a content library, access to a "Watch" section for TV content, a listen section for music, and an apps section for accessing different apps and home WiFi settings.
"Xfinity Flex will deepen our relationship with a certain segment of our Internet customers and provide them with real value," said Matt Strauss, Executive Vice President, Xfinity Services for Comcast Cable. "For just five dollars a month, we can offer these customers an affordable, flexible, and differentiated platform that includes thousands of free movies and shows for online streaming, an integrated guide for accessing their favorite apps and connected home devices, and the ease of navigating and managing all of it with our voice remote."
Comcast plans to allow customers to subscribe to third-party video services through its platform, which is something that Apple is also going to offer with its own streaming service.
According to Comcast, more than 10,000 free online movies and TV shows will be included alongside the streaming services that its customers subscribe to, along with options to purchase and rent movies and TV shows.
Comcast plans to make Xfinity Flex available to Comcast subscribers on March 26. It will be available to residential customers who have internet service with 25Mb/s or above that's compatible with xFi gate.