But a Comcast executive who spoke with Business Insider denied that the company was developing a YouTube killer, suggesting that it was more interested in creating a home for professionally curated content than another hub for amateur videos.
Although YouTube got its start with user-generated content, Comcast is mulling something more skewed toward professionals creating content not currently available on TV. YouTube itself has pushed the production of professional content in recent years.
“We’re looking at how to bring online video to the X1 platform,” said the executive, who asked to remain anonymous.
Comcast’s SVP of Video Matt Straus fanned the media flames when he suggested to a GigaOm reporter that the company would conduct “limited tests” of a video-streaming service, though he declined to elaborate on what kind of content would be featured at first.
But the Comcast executive we spoke with said that any new video the company was looking into would most likely be published online, not in a standalone app. That new curated content could come this year, the exec said. We’re unlikely to see the culmination of Comcast’s efforts for another two years or so.
There’s more than one way Comcast could stand to gain from a new video venture. While video ad rates aren’t always that great, companies like YouTube have been able to profit because of the proliferation of online video in recent years. Comcast might position its service as a premium ad buy for consumer goods companies.
Another way Comcast could skin the cat would be to charge its partners a fee for using the company’s platform, which would reach TVs nationwide. Considering Comcast’s potential merger with Time Warner, it might make more sense to position itself as a publishing platform than an advertising venue.