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TumTiki Becomes Newest Destination for TV Shows and Movies on the Internet

The new site, from Frontier Communications, gives users access to 700,000 titles mostly by way of deals with Hulu and Amazon.com.

Another online premium video site with an odd name launches today. This one, called TumTiki, has 700,000 movies and TV episodes to choose from, courtesy of relationships with Hulu, Amazon.com and a slew of other outlets.

TumTiki is a creation of Frontier Communications, one of the country’s largest providers of high-speed Internet, voice services and satellite video.

Frontier is hoping that consumers are tired of checking out numerous sites on the Internet to find the video they seek, so they’ll gravitate to TumTiki as a one-top-shop for not only mainstream movies and TV series but also Web shows and local television.

For the latter, just click on a map of the U.S. and options for local programming appears, including news and even high-school football games, in some cases.

“Consumers don’t have a home for premium content so they’ve become efficient explorers,” said Eric Del Sesto, vp of product development at Frontier. “We’re a single-destination site.”

By teaming with others, TumTiki avoids the expensive and painstaking task of gathering rights to TV shows and movies on its own. Clicking shows offered by Hulu are streamed via the Hulu player though users aren’t navigated away from the TumTiki site.

The site is simpler than some competitors, which TumTiki uses as a selling point. Clicking the “TV Listings” tab, for example, pulls up the previous day's television schedule in an easily scrolled grid with “watch now” buttons on each available show.

TumTiki says 90 percent of the content is free, the exception mostly being popular movies available for rent or purchase through Amazon.  The only discernible business model thus far, in fact, is a revenue share with Amazon, though advertising is coming, said Melinda White, executive vp of revenue development for Frontier.

TumTiki, which Frontier says is a reference to “all our Idols,” “the next place” and other phrases in various dialects, is up against ferocious competition in online video, led by YouTube, which routinely attracts more than 100 million unique users every month and is adding premium content by the bunches to compliment its user-generated videos.

The competition also includes Netflix, AOL, Facebook, Yahoo and myriad others, including TumTiki's own partners: Hulu and Amazon.