Vudu Launches on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Flex

Vudu, a transactional VOD service owned by Fandango, has launched on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex.

To access Vudu over the Internet on X1 and Flex, Xfinity customers can say “Vudu” into the Xfinity Voice Remote.

“Fandango has worked with Xfinity for many years, and we are thrilled to add Vudu’s comprehensive movie and TV offerings to X1 and Flex,” said Mark Young, Fandango SVP, global strategy, business and corporate development, in a statement. “Vudu’s vast library of premium content will now be available to millions of X1 and Flex fans, giving them more ways to enjoy the best entertainment through Xfinity.”

Vudu offers more than 150,000 titles to rent or buy, including new releases, and thousands of titles for free. Serving millions daily, Vudu offers users the ability to create custom lists from their movie and TV library, purchase exclusive “Mix & Match” bundles, access digital copies of their physical films and more. Vudu also features 4K Ultra HD, Dolby Vision, HDR, and Dolby Atmos Cinema Sound.

Titles new to Vudu this month include The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, and Golden Globe winners Minari, The Mauritanian and Pixar’s Soul.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Vudu has also recently launched on platforms including PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S, along with extensive distribution on dozens of connected television devices and streaming platforms from Roku, LG, Sony and others.

HBO Max Generates Underwhelming 87,000 First-Day App Downloads

HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s high-profile SVOD platform, generated about 87,000 app downloads on portable devices, according to new data from Sensor Tower. While the tally doesn’t include migration of HBO and HBO Now subs to the new platform, it still is significantly below the 300,000 app downloads upstart Quibi generated on its first day April 7.

Distribution is key to over-the-top video penetration, and HBO Max didn’t quite have all its channels lined up when it launched service on May 27. Notably missing: Amazon Prime Channels, Roku and Comcast Xfinity.

Later in the day, Max parent WarnerMedia announced it had come to an agreement with Comcast enabling Xfinity and Flex subs to access Max (separate subscription required). This was a big deal since Comcast Cable has more than 20 million video subs and its own competing Peacock SVOD/AVOD service.

Regardless, Max desperately needs as many distributors as possible to stay competitive in the subscriber numbers game with Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu.

“We’re thrilled to cap off the excitement of today’s launch by adding Comcast’s Xfinity to our roster of distributors who are now offering HBO Max to their customers,” Rich Warren, president of WarnerMedia Distribution, said in a statement. “This deal marks another important step in the distribution of HBO Max and provides millions of Xfinity customers with access to the product.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Max still lacks distribution through Amazon Prime Channels and Roku — both traditional must-haves for generating OTT subs if the service is going to reach 50 million subs without cannibalizing existing HBO Now, Go and pay-TV subs. Former HBO CEO Richard Plepler acknowledged Amazon was key to HBO Now generating 50% of its 8 million subs.

An Amazon spokesperson said that AT&T’s decision to bypass Prime Channels hurts HBO subs.

“We believe that if you’re paying for HBO, you’re entitled to the new programming through the method you’re already using. That’s just good customer service and that’s a priority for us,” Amazon said in a statement.

Ultimately, financial and data issues beneficial to all parties drive OTT video distribution deals via third part platforms such as such as Prime Channels, Roku and Apple TV+ Channels.

“Unfortunately we haven’t reached agreement yet with HBO Max,” Roku said in a statement. “While not on our platform [with 40 million subs] today, we look forward to helping Max in the future successfully scale their streaming business.”

Rebecca Heap, SVP of entertainment at Comcast Cable, said Max offers X1 and broadband-only Flex subs added content depth, including live content.

“We look forward to partnering with WarnerMedia to integrate the HBO Max app on our platforms alongside close to 200 other streaming services — all searchable with the award-winning Xfinity Voice Remote,” Heap said in a statement.

Hulu Launching on Comcast Xfinity Flex and X1

Comcast’s Xfinity Flex customers can stream Hulu using the Hulu app on their Flex devices, according to the streaming company.

Xfinity Flex customers new to Hulu will also be able to customize their viewing experience with Hulu features such as Taste Picker and Like and Dislike buttons as well as stay up to date with their favorite shows and movies by adding them to My Stuff.

Current Hulu subscribers can sign in with their Hulu login through the Hulu app on Flex. Flex users new to Hulu can sign up here. Once they have their log-in credentials, they can access Hulu through the app on Flex.

Hulu will also roll out on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 platform within the coming weeks.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!