Comcast Acquires Ad-Supported Streaming Business Xumo

Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts

Comcast chairman and CEO Brian Roberts

Xumo will operate as an independent business within Comcast Cable.

Comcast has acquired ad-supported streaming technology company Xumo, the company announced Tuesday morning. 

The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, will see Irvine, California-based Xumo continue to operate as an independent business within the Comcast Cable division. 

"The talented team at Xumo has created a successful, growing, and best-in-class set of streaming capabilities," reads a Comcast statement announcing the acquisition. "We are excited for this team to join Comcast and look forward to supporting them as they continue to innovate and develop their offerings."

Viant Technology, the parent company of Myspace, founded Xumo as a joint venture with Panasonic in 2011. Meredith Corp. also owned a stake in the company. Its technology powers the Channel Plus and LG Channels experience on LG television sets, as well as channels available via The Roku Channel. Its technology is also distributed across smart TV platforms including Panasonic and Samsung.

Xumo is part of a wave of ad-supported streaming providers that have found traction with investors as they seek to provide cheaper, advertising-driven alternatives to the glut of subscription streaming services. In 2019, Viacom acquired ad-supported streaming service Pluto TV for $340 million. Meanwhile, Fox Corp. is said to be in talks to acquire Pluto TV competitor Tubi. 

The deal comes less than two months before Comcast-owned NBCUniversal begins to roll out streaming service Peacock, which will serve as the over-the-top home of catalog programming like The Office and originals like Sam Esmail's Battlestar Galactica reboot. The new offering will have a free, ad-supported tier as well as a paid tier that does not feature advertising.

NBCU also is exploring a deal to acquire Walmart's Vudu video service, which offers free, ad-supported streaming in addition to a marketplace for buying and renting films and TV shows.