Netflix could see a bump in subscriptions starting next week when Comcast adds the streaming service to its X1 platform. The change, announced in July, is ready to go on “millions of X1 devices across the country,” the cable giant says today.
That should make Netflix’s app and programming relatively easy to access. The integration “means our mutual customers will no longer need to change inputs or juggle remotes,” Netflix CEO Reed Hastings says.
Netflix programming will be added to Comcast’s Xfinity on Demand. And users can call up shows using the company’s search features.
The change also will enable X1 users to subscribe to Netflix through Comcast, and have the charges added to their cable bills.
Comcast CEO Brian Roberts told analysts last week that “we’ll be upselling Netflix…just as we upsell HBO and Showtime and others.”
Yet Hastings cautioned investors last month not to expect a big change in subscriptions. Comcast users “tend to be pretty advanced high income households, so many of them already have Netflix. But having it integrated to X1 will make it easier to use.”
Comcast Cable CEO Neil Smit says today that 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” using Comcast’s remote control.
The initiative effectively buries the hatchet for Netflix and Comcast: They sparred over net neutrality rules, set top box competition, Comcast’s effort to buy Time Warner Cable, and the cable giant’s 2014 decision to require Netflix to pay in order to feed programming directly to its broadband infrastructure.