Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) said downloads of its Xfinity TV multiscreen app have nearly reached 18 million and have increased almost 60 percent in the past seven months.
In February, Comcast said that its TV Everywhere app had been downloaded 11 million times. The 17.9 million figure Comcast revealed in a recent FCC filing represents about a third of all operator multiscreen app downloads since the TV Everywhere initiative started back in 2009.
The acceleration in uptake of the No. 1 pay-TV operator's multiscreen app is a good sign for TV Everywhere, which has struggled with slow adoption. Adobe said that TV Everywhere viewership via apps on tablets, smartphones, computers and smart TVs increased 282 percent year-over-year in the first quarter.
Comcast revealed its TVE data as part of the operator's argument in support of the "apps-based" approach to retail set-top boxes. The FCC's Downloadable Security Advisory Committee (DSTAC) recently made two technology proposals aimed at spurring growth in the market for retail set-tops: one referred to as the apps-based approach and another based on the AllVid standard. If adopted, one of these technologies could be used to enable retail set-tops to be used in the pay-TV eco-system.
Cable companies like Comcast have been favor of DSTAC's HTML-5-based "app" proposal. In fact, Comcast and the industry org that represents it, the National Cable Telecommunications Association, are trying to make the case that DSTAC doesn't have to do anything to further an apps-based agenda. They say the vast flora and fauna of devices at retail already work in the pay-TV eco-system via operators' multi-screen apps.
"Apps are revolutionizing the way consumers access video programming," Comcast said in its comments to the FCC.
According to Comcast, more than 460 million IP-enabled devices support one or more multiscreen app supplied by an MVPD. Of those devices, the MSO added, 66 percent support apps from each of the top 10 pay-TV operators.
To date, Comcast said, multiscreen apps from operators have been downloaded 56 million times.
- read this Comcast FCC filing
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