Comcast has launched a new store that enables US Xfinity TV customers to buy movies and TV shows. Titles purchased through the new Xfinity On Demand store belong to a user, and can be streamed as many times as they wish on their TV, their computer, or on a mobile device using the Xfinity On Demand Purchases app for iOS or Android. Users can also download movies and TV shows to their computer or mobile device to watch without the need for a stable internet connection.
Comcast's existing TV Go app allows Xfinity subscribers to stream live TV. The company says TV shows and movies purchased through the new app will appear on "your family's favorite devices," making the service platform agnostic. According to Engadget, access to these purchases won't be rescinded should the customer leave Comcast, but only if they complete an account transfer within 60 days.
Comcast promises that users will be able to purchase titles "weeks before they're available on DVD or for rental." How effectively Comcast will be able to deliver on that promise is yet to be seen. The range of movies and TV shows currently available on Xfinity's store is small in comparison with the libraries of competitors such as Netflix, but Comcast are reportedly in discussions with Hulu about expanding its Xfinity lineup to bundle Hulu's streamable content.
Xfinity On Demand's strongest hook is the ability to download media directly
For now, Xfinity On Demand's strongest hook in a crowded field of streaming services is the ability to download media directly rather than relying on a potentially shaky internet connection. That makes it a useful service for those who often find themselves out of their home, but its comparatively high pricing — around $15 for one movie on top of an Xfinity subscription, in comparison with $8 for a month of Netflix access — makes it unlikely to drag new customers to Comcast.