While streaming customers might know Xumo as an under-the-radar free ad-supported TV (FAST) service, that name is about to take on a whole new meaning following an announcement on Wednesday.
Comcast and Charter Communications have announced that their upcoming jointly developed streaming platform will appropriate the Xumo brand, and operate under the new name Xumo Play. The brand will not just be a free TV service, but “an entire entertainment ecosystem inclusive of streaming devices, content and a platform for partners to reach audiences at scale.”
“Since 2011, the Xumo brand has connected with millions of customers across the country, establishing itself as a leader in the free ad-supported TV industry for the innovative ways it delivers content to its users,” Xumo president Marcien Jenckes said. “The new Xumo will bring industry leading streaming and aggregation technology nationwide through its expanding content, product line up, and retailer relationships.”
Xumo is a free video streaming service that includes on-demand access to several movies and TV shows. The service is owned by Comcast, but will now be the face of the new partnership between Comcast and Charter, which was first announced in April. The goal of the partnership is to develop and offer a next-generation streaming platform on a variety of branded 4K streaming devices and smart TVs.
In September, Charter chairman and CEO Thomas Rutledge addressed what he and his company hope to see from the new joint streaming project with Comcast.
“I think this new platform that we’re developing with Comcast and the joint venture gives us an opportunity to monetize video and to use our customer relationships to drive that platform deeper into the market,” he said, “and to create an advertising business and a transaction business that — where we monetize the platform by helping direct-to-consumer media companies get more customers and take a fee for doing that for them, help sell the product. That’s one revenue opportunity that comes from it.”
Along with the new name of the venture, Charter and Comcast also announced that Flex, the 4K streaming device Comcast committed to the joint venture will become known as the Xumo Stream Box. The companies also announced that the XClass TV will become Xumo TV.
Both devices will remain powered by Comcast’s global technology platform and feature an entertainment experience designed to make it easy for consumers to find and enjoy their favorite streaming content, via either the user interface or voice search. Xumo’s first branded devices will be available in late 2023, and will be distributed by Comcast, Charter, and Walmart with additional distributors being announced in the future.