In a deal that’s been months in the making, Netflix is now officially on millions of Comcast X1 cable boxes. This is certainly an odd twist of fate, seeing as though Netflix has enabled cord-cutters from coast to coast for years. Integrated only in X1 platform boxes, Comcast customers with Netflix subscriptions will now be able to browse and access Netflix’s entire catalog of movies and original TV shows.
"We are excited to add Netflix to X1 and give our customers access to all the content they love in a way that has never been done before," said Neil Smit, Chief Executive Officer, Comcast Cable. "Netflix has been a terrific partner, and our incredible teams of engineers and designers have come together to create an experience that is not only seamless and intuitive, but also lets viewers search and watch tens of thousands of movies, shows, specials and documentaries with the sound of their voice."
According to Business Insider, the marriage is largely driven by Netflix’s continued search for domestic subscribers amidst recent growth struggles. Opening access directly to cable subscribers gives Netflix exposure to older consumers that are less likely to have considered using Netflix in the past. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings also notes that the marriage will allow current Netflix customers to realize a more seamless experience when switching between Netflix and a standalone cable box (which, in many cases, has been a multi-step process necessitating several remotes and other devices).
X1 subscribers will now have access to Netflix’s original content, including House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, and Stranger Things, in addition to the endless amounts of Xfinity content available through live television, DVR shows, and On Demand content. To streamline the experience, users will be able to browse Netflix titles alongside other On Demand movies and television shows. Users will also be able to actively search both services for shows and categories of content.
Starting the Netflix app is as simple as saying “Netflix” into the X1 voice remote.
Netflix's current pricing and package offerings.
A downside to the Netflix-Xfinity marriage is the sum total of additional fees for Xfinity customers that currently aren’t Netflix subscribers. Netflix offers a three-tier pricing model. The “Basic” package costs $7.99 a month and only allows use on one device. It also doesn’t offer access to high definition material. The “Standard” package costs $9.99, but allows access to high definition material and can be watched on two devices at the same time. The “Premium” package grants access to high definition and ultra-high definition material in addition to allowing viewing on four devices at the same time. Do the math, and you’ll see that non-Netflix customers will need to pay an additional $96 to $144 per year in order to reap the benefits of Netflix on their X1 cable box. Not cheap, but hardcore content-hungry viewers will certainly enjoy the benefits of instant access to Netflix's library of titles.
Image Credit: Comcast