(Reuters) – Comcast Corp said on Wednesday it will offer Xfinity Flex, its streaming media set top box, and a voice remote for free to its U.S. internet-only customers. It had previously charged those customers $5 per month for the service and remote.
The product is meant to make it easier for subscribers of multiple streaming services to find shows. Xfinity Flex allows customers to browse and search for programs from streaming services like Netflix Inc , Hulu and Amazon.com Inc’s Prime Video, as well as free shows and movies that Comcast will include with the set top box.
Apple Inc, with its Apple TV app, is also trying to be a one-stop shop for buying and watching shows. App users can subscribe to channels like HBO and Showtime (but notably, not Netflix) – and then watch those shows on any device connected to their Apple ID, whether it is an iPhone, iPad or Apple TV box.
Shares of Roku Inc, maker of the Roku streaming TV device and service, were down nearly 12%. Shares of Netflix were down over 3%.
Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru and Helen Coster in New York; Editing by Kenneth Li and Lisa Shumaker