Comcast is reportedly pursuing an acquisition of Xumo, an ad-supported streaming service and technology provider, ahead of its Peacock launch in 2020.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the two companies are in advanced talks about a potential deal.
Xumo runs an ad-supported streaming service similar to apps like Pluto TV, Tubi and the Roku Channel. The company also builds branded AVOD apps for companies including LG and T-Mobile. Xumo operates a platform called Elixir, which automates the process for running ad-supported streaming channels and adjusting programming and advertising in real-time.
“We can run what amounts to a cable TV-like experience with a very small team. We’re less than 50 employees at Xumo. We’re starting to help other companies manage their experiences with Elixir as a standalone enterprise offering,” Xumo CEO Colin Petrie-Norris told FierceVideo earlier this year.
Petrie-Norris said his company is working with companies like Roku to curate AVOD streaming channels and optimize the yield for programmatic advertising.
Xumo’s technology and expertise could be beneficial for Comcast with Peacock, its streaming service that will rely heavily on advertising, launching in April.
Comcast is planning to offer Peacock for free to its Comcast and Sky pay TV subscribers along with a subscription tier for consumers that don’t subscribe to Comcast’s pay TV services. But recent reports from CNBC (which is owned by Comcast) suggest that the company will make the service free for everyone to use.
NBCUniversal has been quiet regarding details about Peacock and outgoing CEO Steve Burke said that’s because of “competitive reasons.” But the company has made it clear that it won’t be competing against Netflix and will stick to the ad-supported side of streaming.
“We’re primarily working with the existing ecosystem and doing a lot of AVOD activity. What that’s going to do, we think, is cut the investment pretty substantially because I think we’re going to get to cruising altitude much more quickly than a subscription service,” Burke said during a recent investor conference.