As of this writing, Comcast hasn’t brought the free streaming service Xumo TV, but it looks a possibility, and it could be part of a new trend in the Streaming Wars.
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With Viacom picking up Pluto TV in a $340 million deal and completing its merger with CBS, it’s bolstered its case as a surefire threat to majors. Corporations like Comcast and ViacomCBS need to adapt or they’ll be cut off from savvy cord-cutting audiences.
Majors adapting quickly
The best way for majors to adapt rapidly is by buying up future-proof streaming services. It’s likely ViacomCBS’s acquisition of Pluto TV will begin a wave of similar moves. This could be why Comcast is making a swift move for Xumo TV before demand rises in free streaming services that remain in the shop window.
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The irony is that free streaming services are pay TV without the pay part. For example, Xumo TV offers 190 channels that are ad-riddled trash — just like pay TV’s filler. It includes NBC News, the Billboard channel, Gamespot and more. Free channels, available anywhere. So why is it a smart business move for Comcast to buy Xumo TV?
Accessibility is key
The reality is, Comcast needs Xumo TV’s accessibility to succeed in the Streaming Wars. Today, Xumo TV is available in 35 million North American homes via set-top boxes, smart TVs and other devices. This gives Comcast a way to offer its services, including NBC’s Peacock, directly to the consumer without needing to barter with any competing third-party device owners like Amazon or Apple.
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If the deal ends up roughly costing the same as Pluto TV, it could be a bargain for Comcast. That’s especially so considering Xumo TV is international and that Comcast owns Sky TV in Europe. Xumo TV could actually be a major part of the corporation’s plans.
Prediction: Expect Roku to be the biggest acquisition of this kind, with Netflix buying a major share.