Comcast expands reach of X1 with Canadian MVPD Videotron
Videotronjoins Cox, Shaw and Rogers to the list of MVPD customers that have licensed and syndicated X1, Comcast’s cloud-based entertainment platform
In an increasingly competitive industry where the lines between customers and vendors are often blurry, Comcasthas become a vendor to be reckoned with. Initially developed for its own footprint to give its Xfinity TV subscribers a better video viewing experience, the company’s X1 platform has become a unique solution that has broad appeal in the industry, well beyond the Comcast footprint. X1 offers an appealing, voice-activated cloud-based program guide. At the heart of X1 is an infrastructure that enables feature velocity, allowing Comcast (and its MVPD customers) to evolve the service with the fast-moving needs of the market. Indeed, delighting customers is a key tenet of Comcast’s strategy; the service now offers seamless integration of Netflix and is in the process of integrating YouTube in the experience as well. In short, X1 provides a compelling IP video experience, enabling Comcast and its MVPD customers to effectively compete against OTT providers and other disruptors. Underlying X1 is a flexible software platform based on the Reference Design Kit, a pre-integrated open-source software distribution (Source: http://rdkcentral.com/) that significantly speeds up the development and upgrade cycle of CPE; it enables incremental rollout and supports feature velocity. Although syndication was not the original motivation behind the X1, Comcast has established a brand with reach in the US and across most major Canadian operators. Its strategy is to customize as little as possible, but, of course, Canadian operators will require at a minimum support for French and some parental controls modifications. With so much momentum behind X1, there is certainly a lot of headroom for it to grow its market share. It is a highly competitive market, for sure, but Comcast can certainly claim that it keenly understands the unique needs of the MVPDs, and that the X1 is designed around meeting those needs.