In a move that seems somewhat counterintuitive, Xumo, an ad-supported streaming service owned by Comcast, will begin offering some movies completely ad-free.
Kicking off in October through December 2021, the company will showcase a completely ad-free movie each week across all of its owned and operated properties. The company said the move is an extension of a pilot program it ran last August with Xumo viewers on Comcast Xfinity X1 devices. Xumo said that during the pilot, it “experimented with offering a differentiated streaming experience to which viewers gravitated,” one that drove increased sessions per user and frequency of use.
“As an AVOD industry first, we’re excited to bring XUMO’s Ad-Free Movie of the Week to millions of users across all of our XUMO owned and operated properties,” said Fern Feistel, senior vice president of content operations and marketing at Xumo, in a statement. “Not only are we delighting our audience, this is already proven to be a significant driver of retention as we continue to test new experiences.”
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Xumo’s Ad-Free Movies of the Week for October include:
“Miss Stevens” - Oct 4-10
“Hero” - Oct 11-17
“Marrowbone” - Oct 1-24
“We Need to Talk About Kevin” - Oct 25-31
In October last year, Xumo said that it had experienced 2.5x growth and expanded its monthly active user total to more than 24 million since the beginning of 2020. Total hours streamed on Xumo more than doubled over that same time period.
Xumo CEO Colin Petrie-Norris attributed the growth to a combination of the pandemic along with more content and new distribution partners. He also said Xumo’s on-demand catalog has been deeply integrated with Xfinity X1 and Flex, leading to a nearly 40% increase in viewing sessions on those platforms.
Comcast acquired Xumo in February of last year and has continued to operate it as an independent business inside of Comcast Cable.