Xumo Blurs the Line Between Viral Video and Your Smart TV


xumo

As we’ve all gotten used to by now, sitting down in front of the TV is now very much an interactive thing, as we load up streaming service apps to binge shows, browse free-to-air catch-up apps and check out the latest uploads on YouTube. There are so many options for streaming content to our TVs – so surely there’s little room for yet another new service?

The people behind upcoming new streaming service Xumo think there’s plenty of room for more content – especially when it’s free. Owned by the mighty Time Inc empire and backed by a range of TV manufacturers, Xumo is going to be a little different to your usual streaming service.

No App to Download

Though there are plans to bring its streaming channels to devices like the popular Apple TV via an app, Xumo is designed to be built right into smart TVs – and they’ve already linked up with several major TV manufacturers to do exactly that. Here in Australia, the first sign we’re likely to see of Xumo will be on LG’s smart TVs, where Xumo is being integrated into the WebOS system that provides the user interface. LG calls it “Channel Plus” and it’s been found on their US models for a few years now.

Built to Be Like Broadcast TV

Launching outside the US in May – initially to the UK, Canada, Brazil and several EU countries, and ultimately sure to make its way here – Xumo provides a range of free, ad-supported “TV channels” that are actually delivered via streaming. You’ll be able to tune in to channels of content that meet specific interests – Buzzfeed, for example, or Vogue, GQ and Wired Magazines.

Think of it almost as a YouTube-like stream that’s tailored exactly to the topic you’re interested in, one that just plays you content like a normal TV channel would, hand-picked and scheduled by the Xumo team. Because it’s supported by ads, it’s completely free of charge for TV owners – something extra to add to your entertainment options once it arrives here in Australia.

Not the First, But Possibly the Biggest

There’s been other attempts to take content from around the Internet and assemble it into continuously streaming TV; anyone with an Apple TV device can grab an app called Never think right now for free to see what “assembled” TV looks and feels like. But Xumo’s difference is in its tight integration with content providers and brands. You won’t have a “Fashion” channel, but instead you’ll see choices like “Vogue” and “GQ”. The Canadian service launched with 100 channels, the US service with 150 – all of them actual channels, not just themes or ideas.

Streaming TV & Movies Plans

Pay Per View
  • Service Only Plan
  • 8 Content Genres
$/ days
You can only purchase TV shows, not rent them.
Min Cost - Depending on title

Basic
  • Service Only Plan
  • 1 Content Genres
$25/mth
$25 for Basic subscription; no lock-in contracts

Monthly Subscription
  • Service Only Plan
  • 6 Content Genres
$6.95/mth
$6.95/month after 30 days free trial

Monthly Subscription
  • Service Only Plan
  • 7 Content Genres
$6.99/mth
$6.99/month after 30 days free trial

Monthly Subscription
  • Service Only Plan
  • 4 Content Genres
$9.99/mth
Min Cost - $9.99 over 1 month

How to Get It

If you’re the proud owner of a LG or Panasonic smart TV, you’ll very possibly be among the first to see Xumo at your place – though with the service supporting Roku devices as well, it’s possible we’ll also see it on the popular Telstra TV boxes too. And for TV on the go, Xumo has an app for iOS phones and tablets at the ready.

The Price

Xumo says they believe there should always be a good amount of TV that’s free, and so every single channel you can watch through Xumo is exactly that – completely free, no subscription or payment required. Like free-to-air broadcast TV, it’s supported by ads – but unlike regular broadcast TV, the chances of you finding entertainment that’s exactly what you’re looking for are high.

Worth It?

Free is free, and with the user-friendly interface Xumo has built for its service, we think a lot of people are going to like it – especially since it will provide your new TV with a vast range of channels without you needing to pay a cent for anything extra. From a TV viewer’s point of view, that sounds like a win.Of course, Xumo will be only one part of what has become a vast menu of streaming goodness that Australians get to pick from. Be sure to check out our full comparison of them – and clear the next few weeks for some binge watching!

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