Comcast Launches Xfinity Flex, a Low-Priced Streaming Service
Looking to turn its internet-only customers into TV customers, Comcast introduced a low-priced streaming service today called Xfinity Flex. For $5 per month, Xfinity internet-only customers will get a mix of free channels and a storefront where they can subscribe to paid services.
Xfinity Flex will be available starting next week. Subscribers will get a set-top box capable of 4K HDR streaming, as well as a remote that can take voice commands. Comcast's release didn't mention if there will be an equipment charge. The box will provide free access to ESPN3, Xumo, Pluto TV, Tubi TV, Cheddar, and YouTube. While Comcast boasts that subscribers will have access to 10,000 on-demand movies and shows, that seems to be through these ad-supported services.
The Flex on-screen guide will let customers sign on for paid subscriptions to other services, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO, and Showtime. They can also stream music through Pandora, iHeartRadio, and XITE. Sometime in the near future, customers will be able to sign up for a streamed version of Xfinity X1 cable service through the device.
While Comcast is counting on Flex service to "deepen our relationship with a certain segment of our internet customers" (according to Xfinity Services executive vice president Matt Strauss), the offering appears to give customers less than they'd get from simply buying a Roku box.
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