Comcast is launching Watchable, a major video platform to rival Facebook and Google

Comcast is beta-launching Watchable, a major new video platform with content from big-name partners.

Business Insider first broke the news about Watchable earlier this year.

Comcast is launching Watchable with partnerships with major digital publishers like Comcast-backed Vox and Buzzfeed, news sites like Vice, Fast Company, and Mic, and legacy brands like Discovery and NBCUniversal.

The point of Watchable is to create a widespread digital-video platform that rivals the online video efforts of Facebook and YouTube.

Comcast will let iOS, and Comcast X1 users watch advertising-supported content. Watchable also rivals Verizon’s rumoured video platform.

Comcast already has a smart-TV solution called Xfinity. The X1 set-top boxes allow users to stream unlimited amounts of movies and shows on demand from their televisions or mobile devices.

Over the next few years, sources told Business Insider in August, Comcast plans to switch out all of its subscribers’ boxes for X1 boxes, which could extend a platform like Watchable from just a few million households today to tens of millions of Comcast subscriber homes by 2017.

“We think Watchable can be a unique place that curates and distributes the best content from some of the most recognised brands and producers on the web,” Comcast said in an announcement Tuesday.

“Plus, many of our Watchable partners have not traditionally had distribution on the TV and we can give them a path to reach new audiences and further monetise their content on the biggest screen in the home.”

“Comcast is currently the largest seller of video ads in the United States,” a source familiar with Watchable told Business Insider in August. “As platforms shift to digital, Comcast doesn’t want to lose market share, but they’re losing it to YouTube and Facebook.”

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