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Comcast Debuts Watchable, Offering Videos From Top Web Creators

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Rumor broke in mid-August that Comcast was readying its own online video service called Watchable, and today the company made an official announcement: Watchable is now available in beta, offering videos from a collection of top online creators.

Watchable's distribution is a little wider than originally rumored. It's available through an iPhone app, on watchable.com, and to Comcast pay TV customers who have an X1 box. The service is free to watch and ad-supported. Viewers will find videos from around 30 popular online creators, including AwesomenessTV, Buzzfeed, GoPro, Machinima, Maker Studios, Mashable, Mic Media, NBCUniversal, The Onion, Red Bull, and Vice.

While the selection is limited, Comcast says it will add more network partners over time. It also plans to build in additional sharing options, but didn't give details.

For content discovery, the service offers a daily playlist to guide viewers, and also lets them browse the full library. When viewers need to stop watching a video in the middle, they can resume later from the same place. Viewers are required to register and sign in to view content on mobile.

While Watchable is sure to be compared to Verizon's Go90, the experience is different. Go90 has more network programming and features a nontraditional interface designed to appear to young adults. Watchable has mostly online content, but packages it in a more traditional way, with videos organized into categories like Auto, Entertainment, Fashion and Style, Funny, Gaming, and Sports. It will be interesting to see how both services fare against low-priced SVOD competitors, and how well they attract coveted millennial viewers.

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