Ad-supported streaming video service Xumo is doubling down on news: Xumo is adding ABC News Live to both its owned-and-operated apps as well as to white-labeled services like LG’s Channels video app in the U.S. and Canada.
With Americans glued to their TVs for the impeachment hearings, and the 2020 election fast approaching, the launch is very timely, said Xumo senior vice president of programming and acquisitions Stefan Van Engen. “This becomes a really key relationship.”
Xumo has already seen viewing in its news vertical pick up 10% month-over-month since this summer, Van Engen said. Altogether, Xumo now sees news drive around 25% of its views.
Similar to competitors like Pluto, Xumo presents live and on-demand content from a variety of publishers in a grid-like interface that looks similar to your typical cable-box program guide. And while a lot of the entertainment programming on Xumo is pre-scheduled for a linear-like leanback experience, news is dominated by live viewing. Live feeds see 15 times as much traction on Xumo as pre-programmed news feeds, Van Engen said.
ABC News Live is not exclusive to Xumo, but also available on the Roku Channel and other ad-supported video platforms. Speaking to Variety, Van Engen wasn’t too concerned about the competition, arguing that all these apps will likely benefit from a growing interest in news. “We look at it right now as the rising tide lifts all boats,” he said.
One of those boats will undoubtedly be ABC News, with ABC News digital and live streaming senior vice president Colby Smith saying in a statement: “We are excited to bring ABC News Live to Xumo viewers everywhere, and reach an even wider audience through its broad distribution across many of the most popular streaming platforms.”