Magnolia Pictures inks first FAST deal with Comcast’s Xumo

Comcast's streaming service Xumo has struck a deal with Magnolia Pictures that will bring the studio's film titles to the free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) service over the next two years.

The move is the first time Magnolia Pictures has brought its library of films to a free streaming service and will see popular titles like the drama thriller "Dogman" and documentary "Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am" made available to Xumo streamers for free.

"Xumo is always looking to showcase intelligent, engaging programming to create a dynamic and unique FAST experience," Anthon Layser, the vice president of partnerships and programming at Xumo, said in a statement.

In addition to its deal with Magnolia Pictures, Xumo says it is partnering with Oscilloscope and Brainstorm Media on new content that will also be available via its streaming linear channels and on-demand service.

"Millions of viewers turn to XUMO to discover and enjoy thousands of great free movies, and these partnerships build out a film library not available on other FAST services," Layser said.

Jeff Cuban, the chief executive of Magnolia Pictures' parent company Mark Cuban Companies Entertainment Properties, said the partnership will give streaming television viewers "a unique experience that is singular to the Xumo platform."

"Xumo stands as our first exclusive partner to premiere our titles on their FAST platform, which further strengthens the presence of Magnolia in the streaming space and bolsters the influence of our critically acclaimed catalog," Cuban said in a statement.

Xumo was one of the first Internet-based services to offer free access to streaming television shows and movies through an interface that replicated the cable television experience. Fittingly, Comcast — a cable television company — acquired the service in 2020 and allowed it to continue operating as a separate business.

Since the acquisition, Comcast has largely taken a hands-off approach to running the service as far as licensing and content deals go. Instead, Comcast has focused more on Xumo's technology, integrating the platform into its X1-powered set-top boxes and Flex streaming devices to give cable and Internet customers native access to free, ad-supported Internet channels.

This year, Xumo began a significant refresh of its application on a number of platforms to make the service look and feel more like Comcast's Xfinity Stream. Smartphones and tablets running Apple's iOS or Google's Android operating system currently use the new version of the Xumo app; the company says the new design will roll out to smart TVs and other platforms in the future.

Xumo will also play a starring role in a new partnership between Comcast and rival cable company Charter Communications. As part of the joint venture, Comcast agreed to license Xumo's technology, which is expected to bring the FAST service to new products and services that are created through the partnership.