September 29, 2015 / 3:16 PM / 3 years ago

Comcast to offer ad-supported video streaming service 'Watchable'

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Comcast Corp said on Tuesday it will launch a trial of a video streaming service with content from online video networks such as Walt Disney Co’s Maker Studios, aiming to target younger viewers who have an appetite for Web videos.

A woman walks past the NBC logo and Comcast displayed at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, formerly known as the GE building, in midtown Manhattan in New York July 23, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The beta version of its streaming service, called “Watchable,” will be available as an app on ioS devices, online on and on TV sets of users who subscribe to Comcast’s Xfinity 1 pay-TV service, Comcast executives said in a statement. The service will be free and ad-supported, they said.

An Android app is in the works, a spokeswoman said.

Comcast’s experiment with a video streaming service comes as the pay-TV market is struggling to retain users gravitating towards online video offerings and moving away from traditional TV content.

Comcast’s announcement comes shortly after Verizon Communications Inc launched a new ad-supported mobile video platform go90 with on-demand and live shows aimed at younger viewers.

Comcast has 30 content partners including Machinima, Awesomeness TV, Vice, Defy Media and other online video networks that are popular among millennials on the Web and Google Inc’s YouTube, it said.

In July, the company said it had begun beta testing a new cable TV streaming service called Stream, which will broadcast live TV from HBO and about a dozen other television networks for $15 per month.

Reporting by Malathi Nayak; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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