On Tuesday, Comcast confirmed the rumors of an association with Netflix, the streaming monster. The cable provider said the Xfinity X1 set-top box would allow customers to access Netflix and all it has to offer. However, there are almost no details on the agreement, but according to Recode, both companies said it was going to be ready “later this year.”

Cable companies dominated home entertainment for a very long time providing a variety of TV channels and content through set-top boxes. But nothing lasts forever, and technology grows unstoppably. In recent years, companies like Comcast and Showtime have grown considerably and, like Netflix and Amazon, have gained strength in the home entertainment market. Since they can be enjoyed from smartphones and tablets, these new competitors took the game to another level opening new branches and even making a lot of people believe that cable set boxes are no longer needed.

The popular Xfinity X1 package will now include a streaming service provided by Netflix. Image courtesy of Geek Wire

As a result, a war on exclusive content, speed and coverage was waged, but little by little, cable companies started joining forces with streaming content providers, and now the biggest of them all is doing the same. After years of slashing at one another, Comcast and Netflix announced they are going to be partners starting this year.

There are a lot of possible benefits

No details of the agreement are available yet, but based on the market plan both companies have followed throughout the years, a lot of experts are speculating about the reasons that motivated them to join forces.

For Comcast, it represents a huge load out of its shoulders. Reports show that half of the households in the United States contract streaming service providers which could be seen as a direct competitor for its products. By working with Netflix, the cable provider gives all its customer easy access to both services which not only eliminates the competition, but it also could make users think they need both.

Finally, it would be safe to say it would have a percentage out of every Netflix customer that logs through Xfinity X1. For Netflix, it gives the chance to reach a market that was out of reach, so it could significantly increase its customer base.

Comcast and Netflix’s new friendship

According to experts, both companies benefit greatly from the deal, but since most Comcast users don’t get streaming services, it might seem as they were not interfering with each other. However, there is a real threat to the cable business, and it is smaller than a smartphone.

TVs are going intelligent introducing households to a world of infinite media content. Smart TVs and gaming consoles have been offering the service for quite some time, but they might be a little too expensive for some people. However, for around $50, people can buy a streaming media player like Roku, Amazon Fire TV or Chromecast and have immediate access to streaming services provided by companies such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, which could render cable companies useless.

In other words, by making the Xfinity X1 set-top box a streaming player, Comcast is killing two birds with one stone. No more competition with Netflix or any streaming stick.

Source: Recode