Charter and Comcast throw combined weight behind Xumo brand

Charter Communications and Comcast, the two largest cable providers in the US, have announced that their streaming platform joint venture will now operate and conduct business as Xumo, evolving the brand from a free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) service to an entire entertainment ecosystem inclusive of streaming devices, content, and a platform for partners to reach audiences at scale.

“Since 2011, the Xumo brand (‘Zoo-mo’) 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,” said Marcien Jenckes, the Comcast Cable exec who was appointed president of the JV in May.

“The new Xumo will bring industry leading streaming and aggregation technology nationwide through its expanding content, product line up, and retailer relationships.”

Marcien Jenkes

Along with the naming of the joint venture, Charter and Comcast also announced that Flex, the 4K streaming device Comcast licensed to the joint venture will become Xumo Stream Box and XClass TV will become Xumo TV. Xumo will go-to-market with its first branded devices in late 2023, distributed by Comcast, Charter and Walmart.

Xumo to become Xumo Play

Xumo’s FAST service, which consists of hundreds of linear channels and on demand options from a growing collection of networks and content creators, will be rebranded Xumo Play. Xumo Play will anchor the free content offering on Xumo devices and continue to be available as an app on other streaming platforms.

Charter and Comcast said in May that the streaming JV will be charged with developing and offering a next-generation streaming platform on a variety of branded 4K streaming devices and smart TVs

The pair said at the time that Comcast would license Flex, its aggregated streaming platform and hardware to the joint venture, contribute the XClass TV retail business, and contribute Xumo, the ad-supported streaming service it acquired in 2020. Charter said it would make an initial contribution of US$900 million, funded over multiple years.

Plans for the streamer are moving forwards as Comcast and Charter continue to shed traditional cable TV subscribers, with Charter this week reporting 211,000 video subscriber losses in Q3 as well as the migration of customers to cheaper packages.

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