Comcast, expanding the amount of streaming content it is bringing to subscribers, has reached a distribution deal with OTT programmer Future Today.
The agreement makes Future Today’s top channels--Fawesome.TV, HappyKids.tv and FilmRise--available via the Xfinity X1 and Flex platforms, making them more easily accessible.
Comcast has integrated several streaming video brands into X1, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Tubi, Pluto TV, Xumo. Cheddar, Brown Sugar and Tastemade.
“We're the biggest company in the OTT space that nobody's really heard about,” said Future Today co-founder Vikrant Mathur. The company launched its first channel in 2011 and was one of the first 10 channels on the Roku platform.
It currently operates 700 content channels and claims more than 6.5 million monthly average users, up 500% since 2017. Last year Future Today agreed to sell itself to Cinedigm for $60 million. The deal fell through, but the two companies still work together on some projects.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but Mathur said the deal with Comcast was similar to deals streaming services were making with device makers, calling for some sort of revenue share or share of ad inventory.
Future Today sells its own advertising. It has a programmatic team that works with supply-side platform and demand side platform and sets up private markets, and a direct sales team that calls on agencies and brands. It also works with selected third-parties that can help with monetization.
The channels, including the ones Comcast will carry are currently VOD oriented, but “we are exploring linear as a strategy across all major platforms, not just Comcast,” Mathur said. “There will be announcements we’ll be making in the coming months about our expansion into linear.”
Mathur said that Future Today is currently talking with other MVPDs.
“The industry is increasingly moving into this streaming, over-the-top sphere, just as we're seeing with Comcast, in general a lot of the MVPDs are exploring. And I think the question that they're asking is if somebody already has a set-top box, why do they need to go add anther devices to make their television smart,” he said.
The deal means that Comcast subscribers can access more content without having to find their TV remote and change inputs or sources.
Future Today said it has a library of more than 200,000 film, television and digital content assets.
Its channels feature shows such as Kitchen Nightmares, Third Rock from the Sun and Unsolved Mysteries. It’s kids’ channel offers Transformers, Cat in the Hat, Caillou, My Little Pony and Thomas the Tank Engine.