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Week In Review: Comcast To Buy Xumo, TV[R]EV Releases Special Report On Addressable TV Advertising

1. Comcast To Buy Xumo?

In a notable scoop, our friends Sahil Patel and Patience Haggin at the Wall Street Journal broke the story that Comcast and Xumo are getting ready to do the deed. As in NBCU will acquire Xumo, one of the two remaining independent FASTS (Tubi being the other.)  Haggin and Patel indicated that while the buyout was far from a done deal, the talks were exclusive, e.g., there was no backup suitor.

Why It Matters

Xumo’s eventual acquisition has always been a “when” rather than “if” question. It’s clearly been the company’s exit plan and they’ve done a good job positioning themselves: they have deals with VIZIO, Roku, Panasonic and Samsung, as well as pole position on LG TVs  where they are the core of the “LG Channels” interface.

But wait, there’s more!

Xumo also has linear feeds for many of their channels, and as you may remember, we (TVREV) think that one result of the content glut caused by the impending Flixcopalypse will be the resurgence of linear.

So there’s that too.

We also have a strong suspicion that the fact that Xumo’s clearly figured out all the technological aspects of the running an ad supported streaming service was attractive to Comcast/NBCU which, if you recall, has been futzing about trying to get its streaming service Peacock launched sometime next year. 

So gaining the ability to drag all those episodes of The Office into the Xumo interface—or at least the ability to take advantage of their engineering staff to help with the process—will seem like a huge win for Comcast. 

Something Xumo is likely aware of, hence the ongoing negotiations.

What You Need To Do About It

If you’re Tubi, you’re either the last unmarried sibling (Pluto got hitched to Viacom earlier this year) or a very eligible singleton, so play your cards wisely. There are no doubt a number of companies who could use a FAST like you, so play your cards right and this could be a win for you too.

If you’re Comcast, this is a good deal. No offense, but your engineering team probably can’t replicate what Xumo’s done and even if they’re started to, having one of the OG FASTS on board is going to help. Plus all that additional content. And the linear channel thing.

If you’re an MVPD, this should make you a little worried. Because you know, the more options people have on the various Flixes, the less necessary their MVPD pay TV package is going to seem.

2. TV[R]EV Releases Special Report On Addressable TV Advertising

In case you managed to miss our steady drumbeat of self-promotion last week, here’s a reminder that the latest TV[R]EV Special Report, on Addressable TV Advertising is now available here

It’s 49 pages of everything you need to know about addressable TV: from the mechanics of how it works, who is doing it, who is doing it well, how it’s bought, how it’s sold, how it’s measured…to the bigger questions around when, where and (especially) why a brand should run addressable ads, how the growth of addressable will impact the upfronts, what the future looks like, who the winners and losers will be, and what trends and developments to keep an eye on. 

There’s also a sizable section on network linear addressable where we look at how the new systems being developed by Nielsen and Project OAR work, how they might shake up the industry and why they’re different than MVPD addressable and OTT addressable.

Written by me and Mike Shields, with an assist from Tom Morgan, the report also features in-depth interviews with the people making addressable happen today, including Cadent’s Jamie Power, Inscape’s Zeev Neumeier, Nielsen’s Kelly Abcarian, Jodie McAffee from Project OAR, and Allen Koslowski from SpotX.

How We Did It

We spoke—off the record—to around 100 top executives at networks, brands, ad agencies, MVPDs, OTT platforms and ad tech companies in order to better understand what they were up to and what they were up against. 

The advantage to conducting these interviews off the record—and what makes our TV[R]EV reports unique—is that people tell us what’s actually going on. So you get an insider perspective that’s honest and raw. 

All written in the TV[R]EV style you know and love that’s in line with our philosophy that just because you’re reading about business doesn’t mean you signed up to be bored.

Download your copy HERE.