New “unapologetically queer” network comes to Philly

 Atop the Comcast tower at 17th and 1701 John F Kennedy Blvd last week, final decisions were made regarding how and when Xfinity would connect with the San Francisco-based Revry, Inc., the first global LGBTQ+ streaming network.

Revry announced a deal with Comcast that will bring its streaming service — a smart, inclusive and thoroughly curated selection of LGBTQ+ film, series, and originals together with queer-focused libraries of podcasts, albums and music videos currently available in 50 million-plus households in more than 100 countries — to Comcast’s Xfinity X1 platform.

“Although this is just one of the many partnerships our streaming network will announce very soon, Revry’s availability on X1 is major, and will push our cumulative reach to over 50 million viewers across those platforms,” said Revry CEO Damian Pelliccione.

Jean-Claire Fitschen, the executive director of Multicultural Consumer Services at Comcast, stated that the cable giant has forever had LGBTQ programming in its sights. “Xfinity has grown to have the most complete library of LGBTQ entertainment — now at 1,200-plus titles — uniquely curated by both identity and community.”

The launch of Comcast’s LGBTQ Film & TV on X1 and Xfinity Stream in 2016 even helped make things easy to find. You could find stories curated by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer experience by simply saying “LGBTQ” or “Pride” with the X1 voice remote.

“Our Xfinity customers enjoy browsing LGBTQ entertainment recommendations by community partners such as “The Advocate,” AMPA [American Military Partner Association], Campus Pride, Family Equality Council, GLAAD, GLSEN, NCLR, The National Center for Transgender Equality, OUT, Out & Equal, PFLAG, The Trevor Project and Victory Fund,” said Fitschen, “Philadelphia’s own Attic Youth Center community recommendations was the newest partner launched just last week.”

Xfinity X1 integrates Netflix, YouTube, Amazon and Here TV all on one platform with Revry soon to follow. Those services combined with X1’s existing library means a vast LGBTQ showcase all in one place.” It’s truly awesome,” Fitschen said.

At launch, expected by the end of February or the beginning of March, Xfinity X1 customers will be able to subscribe to the service and access it over the Internet by saying “Revry” into their X1 voice remote. Or simply say “Pride” or “LGBTQ” to access Xfinity X1’s broader LGBTQ Film and TV on-demand destination. X1 customers will be able to sign up for Revry directly on X1, and add it to their service for $6.99 per month.

Revry has been an active idea since October 2015, when four friends got together at Pelliccione’s apartment around the then-new fourth-generation Apple TV.

“We were inspired by its technology, a new operating system called TVOS for developers to create new and original app experiences,” Pelliccione said. “But we searched LGBTQ and every other related term and acronym and found zero apps. So we had to make our own, to become one of the first LGBTQ apps created for that generation Apple TV and higher.”

From there, Revry created apps and systems to all streaming TV systems — from ROKU to Amazon Fire — along with web, then mobile versions for IOS and Android. Beyond that, Revry created the first LGBTQ digital broadcast channel on Pluto TV. Viacom acquired Pluto TV last month, adding even greater reach and respectability.

Xumo TV came next for Revry, powering everything from Vizio, Samsung, LG and more. “And, now, we’re the newest member of the Xfinity/Comcast family, launching by the end of this month or the beginning of March,” said Pelliccione, who’ll arrive in Philly (for the first time) next week for meetings with the cable/streaming network.

“We’re unapologetically queer — that’s our motto and the nature of our content curation. Not only will Xfinity X1 customers be able to enjoy our Revry original programming such as ‘Room To Grow’ and ‘Queens of Kings’ (starring RuPaul Drag Race winner Aquaria) along with movies, shorts and podcasts all within the ease of the X1 experience. We have the largest network of indie-queer music, albums and videos outside of mainstream services such as Spotify or Apple Music. The same with podcasts which we also distribute outside of our native app, on Soundcloud and such.”

With that, Revry — when combined with Xfinity/Comcast — is now LGBTQ’s largest one-stop-shopping sound and vision network.