Comcast Acquires AVOD Service Xumo

Comcast Feb. 25 announced the acquisition of Xumo, the ad-supported streaming service based in Irvine, Calif.

Xumo will continue to operate as an independent business inside of Comcast Cable.

Xumo offers free, live and on-demand streaming entertainment, news, sports and more, organized in a channel guide, and features more than 190 genre-grouped channels. Xumo’s multi-screen network of distribution partners include major smart television brands, the Comcast release noted.

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“The talented team at Xumo has created a successful, growing, and best-in-class set of streaming capabilities,” read the release. “We are excited for this team to join Comcast and look forward to supporting them as they continue to innovate and develop their offerings.”

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

 

Xumo AVOD Service Coming to Sony and Panasonic Smart TVs

AVOD service Xumo will add Sony and Panasonic smart TVs to its existing distribution network with LG in 2020.

Both Sony and Panasonic smart TVs will have integration of Xumo’s free streaming service delivering both over-the-air and over-the-top channels to global audiences. End users press the channel up and down or guide button on the TV remote control to watch Xumo channels.

“As the leading free OTT service in the U.S., Xumo is eager to join forces and work toward providing audiences their favorite streaming or local, over-the-air channels through one intuitive TV experience,” said Xumo CEO Colin Petrie-Norris in a statement. “It remains our mission to work with global TV manufacturers, content and advertiser partners to deliver a quality experience for end users; one that can easily become a daily routine.”

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“As a creative entertainment company with a solid foundation of technology, Sony is pleased to partner with Xumo to bring this streaming experience direct to consumers in a truly seamless manner by allowing viewers to access a variety of free channels on our Bravia TVs,” said Nick Colsey, VP, business development, Sony Electronics, in a statement.

“Xumo delivers a best-in-class experience for streaming channels,” said Yasunari Anan, director of Panasonic’s Smart Life Network business division in a statement. “We are happy to partner with them to provide more choice of viewing content for our discerning viewers.”

The expansion comes on the heels of the launch of Xumo-powered channels on LG smart TVs in the United States. LG now offers 190-plus channels to U.S. audiences across 12 programming genres and thousands of free movie titles, according to Xumo.

“Our success in the U.S. has proven that free streaming TV is on the rise and, with the right global partner, we will continue to ensure viewers are delivered an optimized, enjoyable entertainment experience,” said Sangwoo Lee, SVP of home entertainment content  and service business division at LG Electronics.

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Xumo is available in 45 million U.S. households via a multi-screen distribution network of smart TVs, mobile, web and streaming boxes, delivering digital channels through content partnerships with media providers such as ABC News Live, PeopleTV, NBC News, Food52, and HISTORY, as well PGA TOUR, and many others.

Comcast Eyeing Ad-Supported VOD

With ViacomCBS staking much of its over-the-top video future on Pluto TV, the ad-supported video-on-demand platform, Comcast reportedly is considering joining the AVOD market that also includes Tubi TV.

The Wall Street Journal, citing sources, reports the cable giant is in advanced talks to acquire Xumo TV, the Irvine, Calif.-based service offering more than 140 digital channels of programming across 12 genres, including sports, news, kids and family entertainment. Content partnerships include CBSN, People TV, College Humor, and History, as well as the PGA Tour, among others.

The Xumo app is currently available on Roku and embedded in several smart TVs from Samsung, Panasonic and Vizio — the latter based in Irvine as well.

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Comcast unit NBC Universal is launching SVOD platform — Peacock — in April, 2020. Acquiring Xumo could help the cabler sustain its pay-TV legacy through an ad-based business model in the rapidly evolving digital ecosystem.

Comcast isn’t commenting on the scuttlebutt, but CFO Michael Cavanagh, speaking Dec. 9 at the UBS 46th Annual Global Media and Communications confab in New York, said the company was entertaining the AVOD market in response to a SVOD landscape dominated by Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney+.

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“We think we’ve got a pretty special opportunity [with AVOD], when you think about the relatively underserved segment of premium content ad-supported,” Cavanagh said. “Our work shows us that consumer demand is there.”

Indeed, since ViacomCBS acquired Pluto earlier this year for $340 million, the company has made the platform centerpiece to its global digital distribution strategy.

“Our focus on an investment in Pluto is evident,” Bob Bakish, CEO of ViacomCBS, said on the recent fiscal call. “In Q4 alone, Pluto launched 43 new channels and last month, Pluto Latino added 11 new channels given the platform of total 22 channels with over 4,000 hours of Spanish and Portuguese language programming.”

New AVOD roll-outs and improved ad-tech are expected to drive U.S. online video advertising revenue to $27 billion in 2023, according to IHS Markit Technology.

“The AVOD goldrush is here, and it represents a prime opportunity for service providers, new AVOD entrants and content companies,” said senior research analyst Sarah Henschel.

 

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.

Cinedigm Bowing Three OTT Channels on Xumo TV Platform

Cinedigm Oct. 9 announced the launch of CONtv, the family values-based Dove Channel, and the fact-focused Docurama on the free Xumo streaming television service.

CONtv launched today, with Dove Channel and Docurama’s launch slated for next month. Each channel will feature a VOD component, as well. The agreement makes Cinedigm’s OTT video channels available to more than 30 million households nationwide through Xumo’s smart TV integrations, mobile and Web apps.

Irvine, Calif.-based Xumo offers more than 140 digital channels of programming across 12 genres, including sports, news, kids and family entertainment. Content partnerships include CBSN, People TV, College Humor, and HISTORY, as well PGA Tour, among others.

Xumo viewers will be able to access on-demand titles from Cinedigm’s linear channels through the remote controls of select Vizio, LG, Hisense and Sharp smart TVs. The new programming will also be available across the Web and mobile devices, via the Xumo app for iOS and Android.

“The scope of [Xumo’s] reach is unprecedented, earning impressive viewer engagement ratings and providing promising investment opportunities with their soaring monetization levels,” Erick Opeka, EVP of Cinedigm digital networks, said in a statement.

Stefan Van Engen, SVP content partnerships and programming at Xumo, said the average time viewers spend on Xumo has increased nearly 10% over the past 90 days.

“Through this partnership [with Cinedigm], we’re able to stream thousands of hours of new premium entertainment featuring unique fandom-oriented programming and popular family-friendly content as well as informative documentary series — all of which will better serve our audience … for streaming entertainment.”