Xumo's streaming box to debut later this year

Xumo, the Comcast-Charter streaming joint venture, will intro a standalone streaming box this year that complements the JV's work on integrated connected TVs.

Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor

April 17, 2023

3 Min Read
Xumo's streaming box to debut later this year

LAS VEGAS – NAB 2023 – Xumo, the national streaming joint venture of Comcast and Charter Communications, intends to introduce a new, standalone streaming box powered by the JV's operating system later this year.

Early on, Comcast is expected to distribute the new Xumo Stream Box to its broadband-only customers, much as it is doing today with the Xfinity Flex device. Charter, meanwhile, is expected to make the new Xumo box available to video customers.

Distributing a Xumo-powered streaming box "is very much part of what we're doing with Charter and Xfinity [Comcast]," Colin Petrie-Norris, Xumo's chief revenue and platform officer, said here Monday at the NAB Streaming Summit.

Figure 1: Dan Rayburn, streaming industry analyst and chair of the NAB Streaming Summit, shares the stage with Colin Petrie-Norris, Xumo's chief revenue and platform officer. (Source: Jeff Baumgartner/Light Reading) Dan Rayburn, streaming industry analyst and chair of the NAB Streaming Summit, shares the stage with Colin Petrie-Norris, Xumo's chief revenue and platform officer.
(Source: Jeff Baumgartner/Light Reading)

There's more to come on what the new product will entail. But it's already clear that the device will be made to support pay-TV apps for consumers who want that option, Xumo Play (Xumo's own free, advertising-based streaming service), voice-based search and navigation and integrations with a broad range of third-party video apps and services.

It will also represent a generation beyond Xfinity Flex, a streaming device that Comcast has been distributing for no added cost to its broadband-only customers.

Using a standalone streaming box will also complement Xumo's focus on deploying its operating system and content services inside connected TVs. Following an agreement that Comcast initially cut with Hisense for its original family of XClass TV products, Xumo also has a connected TV partnership with Element Electronics.

That's all coming together as Xumo gears up to expand in a competitive video platform and OS market that also includes companies such as Google (Android TV/Google TV), Roku, Amazon (FireTV), and TV makers that include Samsung, LG Electronics and Vizio.

North America is Xumo's "priority market," Petrie-Norris said. Comcast-owned Sky markets its own family of smart TV products under the Sky Glass brand.

Petrie-Norris also shared some updated numbers on Xumo's scale, noting that the company's technology and services now reach 75 million devices worldwide and handle about 5 billion streams per week. Xumo Play, the JV's free, ad-supported television (FAST) service, currently offers about 300 streaming channels and manages a vault of about 12,000 video-on-demand assets.

Before forming the Xumo joint venture with Charter, Comcast acquired the Xumo business in 2020.

Petrie-Norris said the Xumo JV is coming on the scene as TV makers look to work with partners to share the "lifetime value" of the customer. They don't want just a "black box," but are instead seeking "custom solutions," he added.

As streaming options continue to expand, pairing the OS with content likewise makes sense as "personalization matters more than ever" to consumers, he said.

And while the TV remains Xumo's priority, Petrie-Norris allowed that the company couldn't ignore other screens in the home, as well as those that consumers use to access TV content outside the home.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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