Comcast, Apple agree to cross-platform app distribution deal

Comcast said today that it has reached a broad distribution agreement with Apple that will bring its streaming apps to Apple’s platforms and vice versa.

The Apple TV app along with Apple TV+, the company’s subscription video-on-demand service, will launch on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Flex platforms and XClass smart TVs along with the new Sky Glass TVs and Sky Q platform available to Sky subscribers in Europe.

At the same time, the Xfinity Stream and Sky Go apps will launch on Apple TV devices.

The launch comes shortly after Comcast and Sky both kicked off their smart TV strategies.

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“While Glass and XClass are distinct products with different monetization strategies, they extend our customer base beyond our previous capabilities and they run off the same global technology platform,” said Comcast CEO Brian Roberts during today’s earnings call. “This allows us to quickly bring the best features to consumers across territories, segments and brands, and on Comcast hardware and through our syndication partners.”

In addition to news about Apple TV+, Comcast shared a few details about Peacock, NBCUniversal’s ad-supported streaming service. Peacock will be launching on Sky next month.

However, Comcast and NBCU were cagey when it came to updated metrics for the service, which has already lost $1.2 billion in adjusted EBITDA so far this year.

NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell said Peacock added “a few million more” subscribers and monthly active accounts, and that the service has now begun selling advertising beyond just its initial brand launch partners.

“It’s important to remember that [Peacock] launched just over a year ago. We launched in July of last year so we’ve been a business for just over a year and we’re already more than a third of where Hulu is now, which is a service that’s been more than decades in the making,” Shell said.

Hulu ended the most recent quarter with 39.1 million SVOD-only subscribers, 3.7 million of which also subscribe to the company’s live TV service.