Comcast and Charter Communications have settled on Xumo as the name of their streaming platform joint venture, as the two biggest U.S. cable operators look to take on the likes of Roku, Amazon, Apple and Google in the space.
Xumo, pronounced ”ZOOM-oh,” is the name of the free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) service that Comcast acquired in 2020 in a deal reportedly worth more than $100 million. Xumo now will be the name of the JV that Comcast formed earlier this year with Charter, seeking to build out “an entire entertainment ecosystem” that includes streaming devices, content and a platform for content and advertising partners.
The Xumo JV will launch its first branded devices in late 2023, distributed by Comcast, Charter and Walmart. (The partners said “additional distributors” will be announced in the future.) Xumo’s FAST service, which includes hundreds of linear channels and on-demand options, will be rebranded Xumo Play. The operators said Xumo Play will anchor the free-content offering on Xumo devices and continue to be available as an app on other streaming platforms.
Along with naming of the joint venture, Charter and Comcast announced that Flex, the 4K streaming device Comcast licensed to the JV will redubbed “Xumo Stream Box” and the Comcast XClass TV line will become “Xumo TV.” Both devices will be powered by Comcast’s technology platform. Under the terms of the JV agreement, Charter is making an initial contribution of $900 million over multiple years to Xumo, which is separate from each operator’s cable businesses.
Xumo is headed by president Marcien Jenckes, the Comcast Cable veteran who previously served as president of advertising for the company since 2017.
“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,” Jenckes said in a statement. “The new Xumo will bring industry leading streaming and aggregation technology nationwide through its expanding content, product lineup and retailer relationships.”
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