Comcast is going after young people with a streaming-video app that it's calling Watchable. Now available in a public beta, Watchable is a skinny bundle that gives users access to shows from traditional TV networks, but also from Web-based content creators such as BuzzFeed, AwesomenessTV and the Onion.
The app works on iOS, on Web browsers and through Comcast's X1 platform, but you don't have to be a Comcast customer to sign up and watch videos. In fact, Comcast is making Watchable completely ad-supported rather than what many other streaming apps do, which is to charge a monthly subscription fee.
In doing so, Comcast is taking a play out of Verizon's playbook, whose Go90 app also forgoes a monthly charge. The pattern suggests that an ad-supported model may soon become common in the fast-growing online video space, with big implications for the rest of the television industry.
So, should you sign up? Well, it's a two-step process that takes a few seconds, and what you get is a kind of YouTube for branded video content. Give it a shot, and let us know what you think.