Comcast is working on a YouTube-like video streaming service and is planning to launch it to a limited set of customers by the end of the year, according to the company's senior vice president of video Matt Strauss.
The executive confirmed the news during an interview this week, noting that the service will be available as part of a limited test, via a standalone app in the new X1 cable set-top box that the company has been gradually rolling out.
Like YouTube, Comcast will allow content creators to upload their own videos, but intead of focusing on user generated content they will seek professionally-produced and serialized content. Strauss didn't detail specifically which types of content will be part of the initial limited rollout.
Comcast would offer content producers a number of monetization options, including advertising as well as transactional fees. But at this point some things are still up in the air, as the company is currently evaluating its options.
In addition to content from the most popular YouTube channels, Comcast could also target expats living in the US by offering foreign-language TV channels, which aren’t widely available on traditional cable line-ups, Strauss hinted.
Comcast recently acquired FreeWheel, a startup that personalizes and inserts online video ads for media clients, for a reported $320 million.
The cable giant is not the only company working on a YouTube competitor, as Yahoo is also rumored to be working on a similar video streaming service.