Variety unearths Web-based demo of Comcast's upcoming 'Watchable' online video platform

Variety briefly uncovered an online demo of Comcast's (NASDAQ: CMCSA) new online video platform titled, tentatively at least, "Watchable."

Describing the platform as a "mix between YouTube and Hulu," writer Janko Roettgers said Comcast briefly left the demo site exposed to the public before pulling it off the Internet. Comcast has not confirmed that the platform Roettgers saw is the one it plans to launch. Variety said the platform is set to launch "in the coming weeks," but the MSO hasn't specified a launch date. 

In early May, The Information reported that Comcast was moving forward with a curated, ad-supported OTT video platform that could be either national or global in scope. The service will be available on Comcast's X1 pay-TV platform, but also accessible to non-Comcast customers on the Internet and through mobile apps. 

Variety said the demo site prioritized editor-driven curation, prominently featuring playlists titled "Obama Nation," "Epic Fails" and "Foodie Delight." This jibes with a Comcast want ad discovered by FierceCable in May, which sought an individual who could leverage "our large library of videos, hand-crafted playlists, headlines and copy, and other tactics. This person's voice and ideas will shape the voice of the brand/platform."

The demo also featured, according to Variety, a subsection of content from Comcast programming partners, which included Vox, a company Comcast's NBCUniversal recently purchased a stake in. Other featured programmers included The Verge, Break, Clevver, Popsugar, iFood.tv, Machinima, Smosh, Jukin Media, Vice, Discovery Digital and Fox Sports Digital. 

The demo said the platform is only available in the U.S. right now, but its language help section said, "We're working to bring Watchable to additional countries."

Just as Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is looking to diversify its revenue streams in a mature wireless market with its upcoming mobile video play, Go90, Comcast is looking to develop a video business squarely aimed at millennial-aged consumers. 

For more:
- read this Variety story

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