Xumo AVOD Service Launches on Comcast Xfinity X1 and Android TV

Streaming TV company Xumo announced its ad-supported TV service, which delivers live and on-demand TV and movie channels, is now available over the internet on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 platform.

It is Xumo’s largest pay-TV partnership to date, according to the company.

Xumo is also now available on more than 10 Android TV-supported devices, including select Sony smart TV models, Nvidia Shield and Xiaomi Mi Box.

The new partnerships dramatically increase the availability of Xumo in the United States to more than 30 different devices, according to the company.

X1 customers are now able to access Xumo by saying “Xumo” into their X1 voice remote or by finding it within the apps section. Xumo continues to be available on Xfinity Flex.

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“We’re focused on bringing our service to the most popular devices available and have expanded to a record number of new platforms this year alone,” noted Xumo’s SVP of product Chris Hall in a statement. “Partners like Comcast are embracing FAST apps like Xumo that provide easy access to a wealth of additional top-quality programming. Providing expanded live channel options for customers on Xfinity X1 and Flex, Android TV and our entire app portfolio is core to our mission to provide the best free entertainment experience available in streaming today.”

In addition to prioritizing as-it-happens news and events, Xumo offers a library of on-demand content, including thousands of movie titles; programming spanning several genres, including series such as “This Old House” and “Divorce Court”; and full seasons of shows such as “Unsolved Mysteries” and “Forensic Files” from FilmRise and “Nurses Who Kill,” “Wonderland” and animated series “Black Jack” from AMMO.

Doc ‘Ring of Faith’ Due on DVD, VOD and EST July 23 From Virgil

The boxing documentary Ring of Faith, exploring faith’s role in boxing, is coming to DVD, VOD and EST July 23 from Virgil Films.

Featuring interviews with professional boxers (Paulie Malignaggi and two-time Welterweight World Champion Shawn Porter), religious leaders (including Vatican officials) and influencers in sports, Ring of Faith gives an in depth look at the impact that boxing has made on communities while looking at the way faith and religion have played roles in the sport and lives of the boxers.

Ring of Faith, which features actor/entertainment journalist Mario Lopez and boxing trainer/analyst Teddy Atlas, was recently nominated for a New York Emmy Award.

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‘Ladyworld’ to Hit DVD and VOD Aug. 27 From MVD

The horror thriller Ladyworld will come out on DVD and VOD Aug. 27 from MVD Entertainment Group.

Cleopatra Entertainment will theatrically release the film nationwide Aug. 2.

Ladyworld — a modernized all-girl story inspired by Lord of the Flies — stars Ariela Barer, Annalise Basso (Captain Fantastic), Ryan Simpkins (Brigsby Bear, The House), Odessa Adlon, Maya Hawke (“Stranger Things” season three), Tatsumi Romano, Zora Casebere and Atheena Frizzell. It follows eight teenage girls who are trapped in an endless birthday party after a massive earthquake. The girls’ sanity and psyches dissolve as they run out of food and water. Eventually, they regress to their basic instincts, exploiting each other’s fears and insecurities.

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Ladyworld enjoyed recent success on the festival circuit, including BFI London Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, TIFF Next Wave, Denver Film Festival and SF Indie Fest.

The film will have an East Coast premiere Aug.2 at the Cinema Village in New York and a West Coast premiere Aug. 2 at the Arena Cinelounge in Los Angeles with a Q&A with director Amanda Kramer and cast.

Mill Creek Launches Low-Cost Transactional Digital Service movieSpree

Independent home entertainment distributor Mill Creek Entertainment has launched low-cost transactional purchase streaming service movieSpree.

The service’s app is now available on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android devices, and movieSpree has no long-term contracts, subscription fees or advertisements.

Offering more than 2,500 hours of entertainment, movieSpree features catalog film and TV bundles, genre-based collections and specially curated compilations, including such titles as Lonesome Dove, The 10th Kingdom, “The Kids in the Hall,” “Documentary Now!,” Benji and Gone in 60 Seconds.

Purchase prices range from 99 cents to $29.99 depending on content. For instance, the entire “Kids in the Hall” series is available for $14.99.

All users of the new service will receive an offer to redeem 100 free movies to be added to their library.

“The establishment of movieSpree is an important growth opportunity for us,” said Patrick McDonough, EVP of sales and marketing for Mill Creek, in a statement. “As the content distribution model shifts to a direct-to-consumer strategy, building our own streaming service allows us to connect to our customers and showcase our entertainment offerings in a meaningful and targeted way.”

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Many of Mill Creek Entertainment’s DVD and Blu-ray releases include digital redemption offers allowing consumers to add to their movieSpree library, according to the company.

Content can be streamed from the movieSpree apps and website using a phone, tablet, laptop or supported OTT devices. The service also features exclusive content and offers that do not have a DVD or Blu-ray counterpart or availability on other streaming platforms, according to Mill Creek.

Mill Creek collaborated with OTT content distribution provider ViewLift on the new service.

“The ViewLift team is thrilled to partner with Mill Creek Entertainment to launch movieSpree,” said ViewLift president Manik Bambha in a statement. “Our alliance showcases the robust features and functionality of a backend system developed by the ViewLift team. ViewLift’s monetization and distribution expertise launched movieSpree, which will help cinephiles watch movies they love and introduce new viewers to great films.”

Doc ‘Unforgotten: A Hero’s Story of War’ Coming to DVD and Digital July 16 From Virgil

Unforgotten: A Hero’s Story of War, unveiling the memories of a Korean War veteran, will be released on DVD, EST and VOD July 16 from Virgil Films.

In the documentary, filmmaker Darrin Dick goes on a quest to uncover the story of his Korean War veteran grandfather, Harold Bauer — a story of bravery, loss and faith. During an interview with his grandson and trip to the Korean War Memorial in Washington, D.C., Harold opens up about his faith, family and memories from the Korean War.

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Doc ‘Hot Doug’s: The Movie’ Due on DVD, Digital and VOD June 25 From Random Media

The documentary Hot Doug’s: The Movie is coming to DVD, digital and VOD June 25 from Random Media and Markos Films.

The film follows chef Doug Sohn, who has a love of “encased meats” and a desire to create a sausage superstore. Hot Doug’s opened in 2001 and quickly became a phenomenon, ushering in the era of gourmet-casual dining and attracting fans from around the world, including Anthony Bourdain, who included it as “one of the 13 places to eat before you die.’’  Love for Doug and his crew, who operated like family, made the restaurant an institution, with fans waiting in line for hours to try culinary delicacies that transcended the average hot dog, made with ingredients including foie gras, venison, curry pork and escargot and bearing names such as The Joe Strummer, The Anna Kendrick and The Elvis.

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The film follows Sohn from being at the top of his game to a decision to close his restaurant at the height of its popularity, after 13 years in business.

Hot Doug’s: the Movie – Trailer from Christopher Markos on Vimeo.

 

Drama ‘Wasted’ Headed to DVD, Digital and VOD June 11 From Random Media

The drama Wasted is coming to DVD, digital and VOD June 11 from Random Media and Homebird Films.

The minimalist film with limited dialogue is directed and produced by Lee Price. It’s an urban tale of a young homeless man (George Welton) struggling to survive, as he demonstrates the need for human connection. This leads him into conflict with people he may or may not have known in the past. Ultimately, his need to find a place in the world drives him to extremes.

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The film also stars Paul James Mackenzie, Tristan March, Adrienne Mackenzkie and Connor Biggs.

Wasted Official Trailer from Random Media on Vimeo.

 

Spiritual Films ‘The Answer’ and ‘Noah’ Coming to DVD, Digital in June From Virgil

Virgil Films will release two spiritual films, The Answer and Noah, on DVD, EST and VOD in June.

Noah, coming June 11, is a Sight & Sound Theatres stage production projected to more than 800 movie theaters in April. More than 2 million people have attended the live show, which follows the Bible story of Noah as he fulfills God’s command to build an ark and fill it with animals. Sets towered four stories above the stage.

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Due June 18 is The Answer, which chronicles the life of American James Donald Walters, later known as Swami Kriyananda. It portrays his youthful quest for truth which took him from his birthplace in Romania to Hollywood, where he meets and is accepted as a disciple of Indian Master Paramhansa Yogananda, author of the bestseller Autobiography of a Yogi, first published in 1946.

Documentary ‘Brave Girls’ Coming to DVD and Digital June 4 From Virgil

Brave Girls, a documentary about Indian women trying to break free from cultural traditions, is coming to DVD, Digital HD and VOD June 4 from Virgil Films.

Directed by Ellie Walton and Yashaswi Desai, the film portrays three young Indian women in a conservative Muslim town seeking to change their futures through education and self-determination. For Karishma, Apsana and Samira, going back to school to complete their secondary education represented a seismic shift in worldview and a reappraisal of what their lives could become.

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But as final exams approached, their families began preparations for their weddings. Immediately, they were forced to choose between their evolving dreams and their obligations to their community. Apsana broke her arranged engagement the day before her wedding to continue her education; Karishma made an unthinkable choice by running away and marrying a forbidden love; Samira accepted her fate and married as was expected of her, leaving her family behind. These stories combined show the complexity that emerges on the path to self-determination within a conservative, Muslim town in Gujarat, India.

Report: Multiscreen Data Changing TV Viewership Numbers

The final season of “Game of Thrones” set weekly viewership records for both the series and HBO network. Much of that data is attributed to how consumers have changed watching TV from a live event to on-demand and over-the-top streaming video.

New analysis from nonprofit Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) in the United Kingdom contends traditional “overnight” viewership data represents only part of the picture. Indeed, displacement viewing has made tracking data correctly more complicated.

BARB suggests that on average people watch 29.3 daily minutes of time-shifted TV content, which results in a 15% uptick in overnight viewership. Sometimes that margin is even greater.

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Live viewing for the first episode of reality series “Shipwrecked” on Jan. 28th was watched by 219,000 people. But the 7-day viewership tally ballooned to 685,000.

TV viewership isn’t limited to the television anymore, thanks to TV Everywhere apps.

“Love Island” gained 27% incremental viewing from non-TV devices, while “Family Guy” viewership increased 8%. Nonetheless, as a whole, non-TV set devices add less than 2% to TV set viewing, according to BARB.

The report found that 1.15 million people watched the second episode of “Save Me” via Sky On Demand pre-broadcast. This was more than half of the total broadcast audience of 2.19 million. This trend increased throughout the series, with the final episode watched by 83% of viewers via Sky On Demand pre-broadcast.

BARB believes re-examining viewership trends is doubly important among the younger demo. Ad-supported YouTube and SVOD services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video remain the top challengers to pay-TV.

The report suggests that in 2018, unidentified viewing accounted for 48 daily minutes for all individuals, rising to 71 minutes for 16-34-year-olds.

BARB believes that for television to become a more efficient, targeted and digital-like medium, content and distribution need to be more vertically integrated.

“In this future, new measurement opportunities may complement the data offered by BARB through the likes of set-top box data. A more digital-like television future offers the opportunity to deliver precision at scale,” read the report.

Trusted and accurate measurement remains essential to accountability, planning and optimization, and increasingly so in a world where we see displacement, fragmentation and disruption.

“Ultimately, we need to understand the value that each [viewer] exposure drives for advertisers. The outcomes are what are important; measurement allows us to link exposure to value,” said BARB.

“The industry must come up with a measurement solution enabling better understanding of viewing patterns across all screens and channels. This is still some years away, even in the most advanced markets.”