How Xumo plans to hit its goal for users to spend much more time streaming

History Channel Xumo
Fern Feistel, newly promoted senior vice president of marketing and content operations at Xumo, said the goal to increase the amount of time users spend on its platform by four times is really about hitting revenue targets. (Xumo)

Ad-supported streaming service Xumo has a mind toward growth this year with an expanding user base and a goal to drastically increase the amount of time users spend streaming on its platform.

Xumo CEO Colin Petrie-Norris earlier this month said his company now has 5.5 million monthly users and that it saw 300% year-over-year growth in revenue during the first quarter of 2019. Those figures are likely to rise if Xumo hits its goal of growing monthly total time streamed four times over by the close of 2019.

Fern Feistel, newly promoted senior vice president of marketing and content operations at Xumo, said the 4x streaming-time goal is really about hitting revenue targets.

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“Xumo is completely ad-supported, so really the only way we make money is getting people to stay and watch,” Feistel said.

A big area of focus for Feistel and her team is Xumo’s TV and Movie genre. That genre has grown 26% month-over-month since January, and accounts for 17% overall of Xumo’s total hours streamed, which is impressive considering that TV and Movies is one of 12 genres across Xumo. It’s second only to the News genre.

Feistel said she and her team will be making sure the TV and Movies genre continues to secure popular content, which the company offers both within an on-demand library and through linear channels that it creates and programs.

In April, Xumo plans to launch four new movie channels. In June, the company will launch two more TV channels.

Those launches will happen in tandem with some product changes and updates. Xumo is available on several smart TV manufacturers’ sets as well as on Android, iOS, Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices. Feistel said those apps and platforms will get user interface changes aimed toward better surfacing movie titles and offering correct box art and descriptions.

“These are all very little things but they make a big difference to the consumer,” said Feistel. “They want to make sure that what they’re committing that two hours to is actually going to be worth it.”

RELATED: Xumo wants to grow its streaming time 4x by the end of 2019

Xumo is also re-examining the ways it puts together AVOD content in a linear fashion, something it’s been doing since 2015. The company has been stitching together content assets and has begun to offer movie marathons in an ad-supported linear format with an emphasis on dayparted and weekparted advertising and programming strategies. Feistel said the Xumo’s programming team is taking deep looks into the company’s viewership data and watching for spikes so it can determine when and on what device viewers are most likely to tune into Xumo.

As Xumo fine-tunes the consumer experience on its channels and platforms, the company has to consider its competition in the AVOD space which includes Pluto TV, Tubi and Roku. But, beyond its branded properties that compete for consumers’ time, Xumo operates an enterprise business with a full team of product managers and engineers who run the company’s white-label business. That includes Channel Plus services on LG smart TVs, which is already available in the U.S. and is launching soon internationally, Feistel said. Xumo also built MetroPlay, a free streaming video app available for T-Mobile’s Metro mobile subscribers.

Feistel said that Xumo is currently building more white-label streaming services for major OEMs that will launch later this year. Xumo also uses its streaming technology to build channels for competitors like Roku.

“That’s really how we set ourselves apart and make sure we stay on the forefront of the technical side of streaming, while also making sure we’re offering consumers exactly what they want to see,” Feistel said.

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