Sinclair Broadcast Group in Talks to Buy Xumo

It was inevitable. Now that streaming has become the clear future when it comes to consumer video, the world’s largest media conglomerates are scrambling to buy up as many streaming services as possible to ensure they keep their slice of the pie. The latest depressing corporate buyout news comes from Sinclair Broadcast Group, the somewhat controversial American telecommunications giant which drew criticism last year for requiring local news anchors on its affiliate stations to deliver a corporate-mandated “journalistic responsibility message.” According to a report published by Variety, Sinclair is in talks to purchase Xumo. What will this mean for Xumo and the streaming industry in general?

It’s still tough to say, as the deal is still hush-hush and details are scarce. Spokespersons for neither Xumo nor Sinclair responded to Variety’s requests for comment. Still, the fact that such a major telecommunications conglomerate is eyeing Xumo shows two things: one, Xumo is becoming a major player in the ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) world; and two, ad-supported free streaming is likely the future of streaming.

Ad-supported video streaming is becoming a more popular business model as consumers grow weary of rising monthly subscription costs. In addition, the growing popularity of streaming means more and more advertisers are throwing huge money at video providers to try and get their ads in front of streaming users’ eyeballs. Global telecom giant Viacom bought Pluto TV earlier this year, and other deals are in the works for other acquisitions of these free AVOD streaming services.

Xumo is a free, AVOD streaming platform which is supported by Roku, Android, and ships natively with many different smart TV models from Panasonic, LG, Vizio, Sharp, and Hisense. The streaming service offers several different channels catered to different types of content and is expected to have about 20 million users throughout the U.S. Will users stick with Xumo if Sinclair goes through with this acquisition?