IRVINE, Calif.—In a move designed to boost consumption of content on free streaming channels, Comcast’s Xumo has launched the Xfinity What to Watch channel on the Xumo app.
The new channel, which Xumo is billing as an industry-first for free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) services, is a 24/7 linear channel featuring entertainment recommendations from Xfinity’s team of movie and TV editors.
In announcing the launch, Xumo unveiled new data underscoring the importance of editorial in driving consumption of programming available on today’s FAST services by reporting that programming included in Xumo’s editorial stunts and promotions in 2021 saw a 5X increase in viewing compared to the pre-editorial average.
“With tens of thousands of hours of free programming available, we’re always looking for ways to create a more engaging experience and help our users find shows and movies of interest,” said Fern Feistel, senior vice president, marketing and content operations, Xumo. “With the launch of the Xfinity What to Watch channel, we are taking our editorial strategy and programming to the next level by partnering with the Xfinity team, who has been curating and creating content collections across its platforms for more than 10 years, to create dynamic programming that will help our viewers discover something new across our growing catalog of choices.”
The Xfinity What to Watch channel will feature Xumo movies and TV shows selected by Xfinity’s team of editors, curated into thematic and timely programming blocks to offer a lean-back viewing experience akin to a traditional television channel.
In addition, Xfinity’s own editorial series, including Xfinity Hangouts and What to Watch Live will be interspersed within the live channel to give viewers more ways to find something to watch.
Launched in 2019, Xfinity Hangouts features the Xfinity editors sitting down and having candid conversations with stars from the latest shows and movies.
What to Watch Live, which launched in 2021, features the editors discussing the latest in entertainment to help viewers find their next favorite show.
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.