Comcast-owned white label video service thePlatform has struck a deal with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) that will add PlayReady and its Internet Information Services Smooth Streaming into thePlatform’s video management system. The two companies services will get their first combined use as part of Comcast’s “TV Everywhere” service, Xfinity, an online and iPad/Android apps that allows the cable company’s subscribers to stream digital video.
The deal comes as cable companies look for ways to offer streaming video to satisfy subscribers’ demands for more video-on-demand options in hopes of heading off “cord-cutting.” Two months ago, Comcast (NSDQ: CMCSA) debuted its Xfinity TV app with programming agreements from 10 cable networks. Eventually, Comcast plans to offer nearly 3,000 hours of video on demand via iOS and eventually Android-based tablets.
Right now, there’s a lot of tug of war regarding the issues surrounding TV Everywhere applications. Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) went to federal court Thursday afternoon to secure the right to stream Viacom’s networks to its iPad app, with the owner of MTV Networks (NYSE: VIA) fighting it every step of the way, including a countersuit and denying the app access to its programming.
The collaboration between Microsoft and thePlatform is meant to provide digital rights management services intended to ease programmers and cable companies’ minds about unauthorized use. Microsoft introduced the PlayReady DRM service back in 2007. The service has gotten a bit more attention as interest in online video from major media companies has risen. The Comcast deal is a big one and it suggests that Microsoft is looking for similar arrangements down the road.