For publishers, distribution is key, but revenue generated from that distribution is king. And sitting atop the throne are the distribution companies that can help guarantee revenue for digital creators. Amazon Video Direct, Pluto TV and Xumo — the Time, Inc.-backed co-venture between Viant and Panasonic — are among them. With clients that include JASH, Jukin Media (“FailArmy”, “The Pet Collective”, “People Are Awesome”), Funny or Die and Refinery29 and streaming reach that spans over 20 million smart TVs, Xumo may just be the next holy grail distributor for digital publishers looking for living room access.
“Since we officially launched mid-2016, XUMO has grown quickly to over 2.5 million monthly viewers. With steady recent growth of 15% month over month, the trends support the fact that people enjoy streaming free content through the biggest screen in the home, their television,” said Xumo CEO, Colin Petrie-Norris.
Xumo has one simple premise — deliver premium quality video formats across smart TV’s where the consumer is already active rather than building a streaming service from scratch. And that’s exactly what its doing across connected TV’s including Panasonic, LG, Sanyo, VIZIO, Philips and Magnavox.
“[Xumo] has in’s with the right manufacturers,” says one publisher who has a deal with Xumo, while JASH Director of Business Affairs and Business Development Jessica Ettman said, “focusing on native placement on Smart TV’s,” could help JASH “tap into a new audience base as well as provide a premium viewing experience to [its] existing fans.”
But as seen in the chicken-egg scenario that is streaming service meets good content, distributors need premium programming to matter. With a business model that relies on advertiser support, Xumo needs a steady pipeline of formats to serve media inventory against. It’s also how publishers can incrementally increase not only viewership but revenue.
To lead the charge of expanding Xumo’s partnerships and offering is new hire Anthony Layser, who joins the company as VP of content partnerships and programming after 5 years at Dailymotion, most recently leading partnerships.
“We are excited to have Anthony join our content team as we continue to add quality brands to our lineup this year,” said Petrie-Norris.
Layser (pictured) will report to SVP of Content Programming & Acquisitions, Stefan Van Engen. He joins a team of over 25 currently based in New York City, Los Angeles and Irvine, California.
“XUMO’s growth patterns are intriguing and exciting — especially in the AVOD, OTT space,” said Anthony Layser, VP of content partnerships and programming at XUMO. “I’m looking forward to expanding our content line-up and working with the team as we hone our strategies for making discovery of new content across our platforms easy, intuitive and fun for each of our users.”
While Xumo is mainly an ingester and distributor of content, its also setting itself apart from the aforementioned Amazon Video Direct and Pluto TV through a discovery and recommendation engine that a spokesperson for the company says is driving user engagement to increase by over 250% in a little under a year.