Xumo, LLC
Company typeJoint venture
IndustryStreaming media
Founded2011; 13 years ago (2011)
HeadquartersIrvine, California,
United States
Area served
United States
Mexico
Brazil
Western Europe (select countries)
Key people
Colin Petrie-Norris (CEO);
Jiro Egawa (COO);
Chris Hall (SVP, Product);
Hirotaka Oku (SVP, Engineering)
Stefan Van Engen
(SVP, Programming & Partnerships);
Fern Feistel
(SVP, Marketing & Content Operations)
ProductsXumo TV, Xumo Stream Box and Xumo Play
BrandsXumo TV, Xumo Stream Box and Xumo Play
ServicesOTT Internet television Smart TV Operating System
OwnerComcast (50%)
Charter Communications (50%)
ParentXfinity (2020-2022)
Websitewww.xumo.com

Xumo, LLC (/ˈzm/ ZOO-moh) is an American internet television and consumer electronics company. It is a joint venture of Charter Communications and Comcast that operates the free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) and advertising video on demand (AVOD) service Xumo Play, and distributes Xumo Stream Box digital media players and Xumo TV smart TVs. The Xumo Play platform's service operations are based in the Greater Los Angeles suburb of Irvine, California. As of October 2020, Xumo Play has 24 million monthly active users.[1]

It was originally a joint venture between Viant Technology and Panasonic; Viant's stake was later acquired by Time Inc., and the service as a whole was acquired by Comcast in 2020—seeking to use it as a complement to its paid streaming service Peacock. In 2022, Comcast announced that Xumo would become a joint venture with Charter.

History

Xumo was founded in 2011 as a joint venture between the Viant Technology subsidiary of Meredith Corporation (then the parent company of Myspace) and Panasonic.[2]

In 2015, only Vizio and Panasonic offered the service. Other manufacturers added Xumo in 2016, including LG Electronics and Funai. As of May 2016, 78 channels were offered, with a total of 100 planned. The primary target audience was described as millennials who are not satisfied with multichannel television offerings.[2]

In February 2016, Time Inc. acquired Viant.[3] The Vanderhook brothers began the company in 1999 as advertisementbanners.com, changing the name to Interactive Media Holdings in 2003 and Viant in 2015.[4]

By July 2018, the Android app was live, available for download at the Google Play Store. By June 2019, according to CEO Colin Petrie-Norris, Xumo was available in over 35 million American households via a multi-screen distribution network of smart TVs, mobile, web, and streaming boxes. At the time, Xumo did not offer its service outside of smart TV platforms, including Channel Plus on LG's WebOS sets.[3] sold by Viant on some channels.[2]

Xumo has the capability to learn what users watch, adding frequently viewed channels and programs at the top of lists.[2]

On February 25, 2020, Comcast announced it would purchase Xumo from the Panasonic/Viant joint venture for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition of the service—which would continue to operate as an independent business, albeit within Comcast's cable television division—stems mainly from Xumo's partnerships with smart TV manufacturers (including LG, Panasonic, and Vizio), which would allow Comcast to use Xumo's placement to market or showcase Xfinity and other Comcast services as well as use its technology to develop additional streaming platforms. The company added content from the NBCUniversal programming library and the company's various television networks, along with adding its channels as a complementary part of Peacock, akin to ViacomCBS's utilization of Pluto TV to offer content from its cable networks following the former Viacom's purchase of the competitor of 2019.[5][6][7]

On November 19, 2020, Xumo announced it would begin producing its own original content for the service, starting with Bold Soul Studios's movie White Elephant.[8]

In April 2022, Comcast announced that it would contribute Xumo to a new joint venture with Charter Communications, which will also include retail sales of streaming devices and smart TVs using Comcast's X1 platform.[9] It was announced later in November that this joint venture would retain the Xumo name, with the streaming service slightly rebranded as Xumo Play, and Comcast's Xfinity Flex and XClass TV rebranded as Xumo Stream Box and Xumo TV, respectively.[10][11]

In January 2023, Xumo announced plans to launch Xumo TV-- a line of smart TVs from Element Electronics—later that year.[12] It also launched Xumo TV models from Hisense and TCL Technology (marketed under the Pioneer brand), which are exclusive to Best Buy.[13]

Programming

Xumo is structured similarly to the pay television model, offering its content as designated channels categorized by program content type into 12 channel tiers:

As of February 1, 2020, Xumo carries over 190 channels packaging content acquired through various syndication and digital content deals. Current content partnerships for the service include the sister company NBCUniversal, A&E Networks, Abrams Media, Advance Publications, CNET, Condé Nast, FBE, Sony Pictures, FilmRise, Fox Corporation, Fremantle, Jukin Media, Kabillion, Katz Networks, Meredith Corporation, NowThis, Paramount Global, PocketWatch, Refinery29, Stingray Group, This Old House Ventures, Time USA, LLC, Vin Di Bona Productions, and Warner Bros. Discovery.

Traditional television channels whose direct or curated feeds are offered on Xumo include History, Fuse, USA Network (plus sister network Syfy, E!, CNBC, MSNBC and Sky News), NASA TV, MTV (plus sister network Showtime, VH1 and Nickelodeon), Discovery Channel, CNN (plus sister network HLN, HBO and Cartoon Network), Euronews, Bloomberg Television, Newsmax TV, Scripps News, Fox News (and sister network Fox Business), Home Shopping Network (HSN), QVC, Jewelry Television, Reelz, Shop LC, BeIN Sports Xtra, and Stadium. AVOD services whose feeds are carried on Xumo include NBC News Now, ABC News Live, CBSN (plus sister network CBS Sports HQ and ET Live), Cheddar News, TYT Network (structured as a hybrid SVOD/AVOD service, but offered by Xumo as an AVOD offering), Nosey, Dove Channel, Law & Crime, Fubo Sports Network and People TV.

Availability

Xumo content can be streamed through a number of desktop, mobile and internet-connected TV platforms including: Android and Apple iOS/iPadOS devices, Chromecast, Android TV, Apple TV, Xfinity Flex, Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Cox Contour Stream Player, LG Channel Plus and LG Channels set models, and Smart TV models manufactured by Vizio, Panasonic, Sanyo, Philips, Magnavox, Samsung, Hisense and Sharp Corporation. Outside of the contiguous United States, Xumo and its supported apps are currently available on LG Smart TV models powering its Channel Plus and LG Channels platforms distributed in Canada (on Channel Plus platforms running WebOS 3.5 or above), Mexico, Brazil, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom (on LG smart TVs running WebOS 4.5 or above).[14]

References

  1. ^ Hayes, Dade (2022-05-12). "Comcast's Xumo Launches 'What To Watch' Channel With Xfinity Curation Shown To Spur Fivefold Increase In Viewer Engagement". Deadline. Retrieved 2022-11-13.
  2. ^ a b c d Palenchar, Joseph (May 5, 2016). "Xumo Bringing More Free Video Content To More Smart TVs". Twice. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  3. ^ a b Spangler, Todd (May 3, 2016). "Time Inc.–Backed Startup Xumo Adds 10 Channels to OTT Service". Variety. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  4. ^ "About Us". viantinc.com. Viant. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  5. ^ Jon Lafayette (February 25, 2020). "Comcast Buys Ad-Supported Streaming Service Xumo". Broadcasting & Cable. Future US.
  6. ^ Sherman, Alex (February 25, 2020). "Why Comcast agreed to buy Xumo, an ad-supported free streaming service". CNBC.com. NBCUniversal News Group.
  7. ^ Todd Spangler (February 25, 2020). "Comcast Acquires Xumo Free-Streaming Video Service". Variety. Penske Media Corporation.
  8. ^ Hepburn, Tmera (2020-11-19). "XUMO Announces Its First Original Content Partnership". Cord Cutters News. Retrieved 2023-03-23.
  9. ^ Hayes, Dade (April 27, 2022). "Pay-TV Leaders Charter And Comcast Form Streaming Joint Venture Built On Xfinity Flex". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 27, 2022.
  10. ^ Winslow, George (2022-11-02). "Comcast, Charter Streaming Joint Venture Branded as 'Xumo'". TVTechnology. Retrieved 2022-11-03.
  11. ^ Hayes, Dade (2022-11-02). "Comcast And Charter Name Their Streaming Joint Venture Xumo, Set Related Rebrand Of Flex And XClass TV & Outline Plans For Timing Of Launch". Deadline. Retrieved 2023-05-11.
  12. ^ "Comcast, Charter JV Xumo to launch smart TVs with Element". Fierce Video. January 5, 2023. Retrieved March 31, 2023.
  13. ^ "Comcast-Charter JV pitches Pioneer Xumo TVs exclusively at Best Buy". Light Reading. Retrieved 2024-01-13.
  14. ^ "About XUMO". Xumo. Viant Technology/Panasonic. Retrieved February 25, 2020.