Oct. 10--Comcast Corp. is launching a feature on Twitter to allow its cable subscribers to access The Voice and other television shows from a tweet, Comcast announced Wednesday.
In a system analogous to the buttons used by Facebook and other social media, a "See It" button will pop up during Twitter chats about TV shows.
In addition to allowing users to immediately watch a show by clicking the "See It" button, the user will be able to schedule digital video recorders or to set a reminder to watch the show later.
Comcast's deal with Twitter Inc. comes as investors are salivating over the pending public stock offering by the San Francisco phenom that claims 100 million daily users and 500 million daily tweets.
Officials at Philadelphia-based Comcast expect the system to entice Xfinity TV customers to watch more of the programming they already buy.
"People tend to discover new stuff that they might want to watch when they are inside Twitter," Sam Schwartz, Comcast Cable's chief business development officer, said in an interview.
"All we're trying to do is reduce the friction, lower the barriers in moving from what they discover in Twitter to actually consuming it. It's that simple," Schwartz said.
The payoff for Comcast is longer-term subscribers, one industry observer said.
"What they want to make sure of is to have people paying their monthly subscriber rate for as long as possible, so they need to keep adding value and services," said Allison Dollar, CEO of the Interactive Television Alliance, a Santa Monica, Calif., nonprofit Comcast has supported.
Dollar said Comcast has to continue integrating its services with the user experience and with advertisers to prepare for the day when the pipelines that deliver content become a not-so-profitable commodity.
The "See It" system was developed by Comcast engineers and will be available next month, a Comcast official said. No money is changing hands in the deal, an official said.
The arrangement deepens what Twitter's chief executive considers already strong ties to television.
"Twitter is where television viewers come to talk about what they're watching on TV when they're watching it. Millions of users are exposed to the live conversation that unfolds on Twitter while a show is on the air," Dick Costolo, Twitter's CEO, said in a news release.
Twitter received a boost in August when Nielsen published research showing that a spike in TV ratings sometimes leads to an increase in Tweets about a particular show. Nielsen also said the reverse was true: A sharp increase in Tweets sometimes results in an increase in ratings for particular shows.
On Monday, Nielsen released its first "Nielsen Twitter TV Ratings," which measured conversations related to TV on the social network. Nielsen found that in the three months ended June 30, 2013, 19 million Twitter users tweeted 263 million times about live television. That was a 38 percent increase from the same period the year before.
When "See It" debuts next month, it will be available on 11 NBCUniversal television networks. Comcast and Twitter are in talks to possibly expand the system to additional video distributors, networks and web sites.
NBCUniversal and Twitter, also on Wednesday, announced that NBCUniversal would join Twitter's Amplify advertising program. CBS, MTV, and the NFL are already using it.
Amplify allows owners of TV shows and other video content to send clips to Twitter users who have seen or could be interested in their programs. It also allows advertisers to directly contact Twitter users who saw their TV ads.
Advertisers have the option of paying extra for the Amplify service. That revenue will be split between Twitter and NBC, Schwartz said.