Xumo is bringing more free on-demand and linear content to more smart TVs in the U.S.
The company is adding Funai brands Magnavox, Philips, Sanyo and Emerson to its roster of smart-TV brands offering Xumo channels. At CES, Xumo announced that LG would offer its content this year on LG smart TVs, and late last year, Vizio began offering Xumo content on its D series smart TVs. Panasonic began offering the content for the first time in 2015 and will offer Xumo on its 2016 TVs.
The TV makers account for more than 50 percent of smart TVs sold in the U.S., said Xumo CEO Colin Petrie-Norris.
Xumo, launched in 2011, is a joint venture of Panasonic and online advertising technology company Viant.
As it expands its reach into more TVs, Xumo is also expanding its roster of content partners, upping the number of channels to 78 from 68 and targeting 100 in the summer, Petrie-Norris said. The newcomers include Reuters, PBS Digital Studios, Mashable, Network A, The Onion, Fandor, Outside Television Shorts, and Bonnier brands Field & Stream, Saveur and Cycle World. They join such content partners as Buzz Feed, Newsy, Conde Nast, Sports Illustrated and Hearst.
Xumo also plans to extend its reach beyond TVs with mobile and computers applications. Computer and iOS apps will be available next month, followed by an Android app.
Xumo’s content is largely focused on millennials, who Petrie-Norris said are underserved by cable companies, but content is nonetheless available for a broad demographic range.
In its 720p to 1080p channels, Xumo places ads sold by co-owner Viant. Xumo’s channels complement the streaming services available in smart TVs’ own app stores.
For its content, Xumo also creates an electronic program guide with half-hour and one-hour time slots for linear programs created from partners’ content. Content can also be accessed on demand. Consumers also get to sort content by genre, recently viewed content, trending content and the like. Xumo uses learning algorithms so that, after consumers use their TV for a while, often-viewed Xumo channels and related programs move to the top of the Xumo menu.
To make Xumo content easier to discover than apps in a typical app store, Xumo works with suppliers to integrate natively with a TV’s OS, Petrie-Norris said. In LG TVs, “we look like we’re part of the TV,” he said.
On Vizio TVs, Xumo appears as an app in a strip of icons running along the bottom of the screen, but the TVs’ remotes come with a dedicated Xumo button.
Xumo positions itself as enabling content providers to get their content quickly onto multiple brands of smart TVs without having to develop different apps for different TV operating systems. “Once a content provider provides content to us, the partners can be up and running in a day and be placed on multiple brands of TVs,” Petrie-Norris said.