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Xumo Launches on Comcast Xfinity Set-Tops, Android TV Devices

Ad-supported video service Xumo is expanding its reach with the addition of apps for Comcast Xfinity set-top boxes as well as Android TV-powered smart TVs and streaming devices. With those additions, Xumo is now available on over 30 different devices in the U.S., with Xumo senior vice president of product Chris Hall telling Variety that the company’s reach had grown by 3x since January.

Xfinity users can access the service through a dedicated app, or by requesting Xumo with their X1 voice remote. Xumo is also available on Comcast’s new Xfinity Flex streaming device, and its new Android TV app can be accessed on devices like the Nvidia Shield, Sony Android TVs and the Xiaomi Mi Box.

Xumo is best known for providing a cable-like linear viewing experience of ad-supported video content, complete with a traditional EPG that you might find on your TV provider’s set-top box. The company launched in 2011 as a joint venture between Panasonic and Viant, the advertising company that is now owned by Time Inc. parent company Meredith.

Initially, Xumo focused on bringing its app to smart TVs from parent Panasonic as well as manufacturers like LG and Vizio. “People have traditionally thought of us as a smart TV company,” Hall said.

More recently, Xumo has branched out to other screens and business opportunities. These include white-labeled apps distributed by T-Mobile under the Metro Play and T-Mobile Play banners, which have brought a new mobile-centric audience to Xumo. “They are doing a little bit more snacking,” Hall said.

The market for ad-supported video services has been heating up in recent months, prompted both by growing consumer demand as well as a desire by Hollywood to find new avenues for monetizing its catalog. The latter led Viacom to acquire Xumo competitor Pluto for $340 million in January, and has also resulted in companies like Amazon entering the space.

Hall said that the renewed industry focus has been good for Xumo, despite the increased competition. One example cited by Hall: A deal with Paramount helped the company prop up its TV and movies selection, which didn’t even exist on Xumo a year ago, and now accounts for 25% of the service’s viewing time. Xumo has also been partnering with some of its competitors, and is for instance powering a number of linear channels on the Roku Channel.

Earlier this year, Variety reported that Xumo was in talks with Sinclair and others about a possible exit. Hall didn’t want to comment on those negotiations, but said that conversations with potential investors were always ongoing.

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