Say hello to Xumo, the new branding for Comcast and Charter's recently announced joint streaming venture. It's an evolution of the previous Xumo, the ad-supported streaming service Comcast bought two years ago, that's aiming to be "an entire entertainment ecosystem inclusive of streaming devices, content, and a platform for partners to reach audiences at scale," according to the companies. Comcast's Flex streaming device will now be called Xumo Stream Box, while XClass TV, the company's push to bring its technology into Hisense-made televisions, will be rebadged as Xumo TV. You can expect to see the first Xumo devices distributed by Charter, Comcast and Walmart next year.
While it may seem a bit late to launch an entirely new streaming company, the joint initiative could be a smart way for Comcast and Charter to modernize their technology and reach consumers outside of their normal regions. The focus on free, ad-supported content (or FAST, in industry terms), is also a clear shot against Roku's offerings. Even though we're being inundated with increasingly expensive streaming services, it turns out many people don't mind watching a few ads to see some of their favorite shows. And that's easy money for any company offering ad-based content.