Whip Media Inks Data Tracking Deal with Tastemade

Software platform and data provider Whip Media Feb. 25 announced that Tastemade, a media company with a global audience of more than 300 million monthly viewers, will utilize its data performance tracking solution for linear free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST).

A lifestyle media company, Tastemade produces hundreds of hours of video content and original programming in the categories of food, travel, and home and design on all major digital, mobile and streaming television platforms, streaming 2.5-plus billion views each month, according to a Whip press release.

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“The rapid growth of Tastemade’s audience and global OTT distribution partners created the need for better content performance tracking specific to digital linear networks,” according to the release.

FAST content programmers do not currently have visibility into title-level performance across multiple digital platforms, creating data inefficiencies for FAST networks that need this data to make strategic content acquisition and programming decisions, according to Whip. Whip Media leveraged its data aggregation capabilities to solve this problem by mapping FAST network’s performance data to both its linear schedules and internal metadata, creating an automated performance tracking solution for digital linear networks. Designed to handle scale and improve performance visibility, this platform will help Tastemade make more informed programming decisions.

“As we rapidly expand our global distribution footprint, we’re excited to work with Whip Media to deepen our understanding of how viewers engage with our content across multiple platforms,” said Jay Holzer, head of programming, Tastemade Streaming Network.

“We applaud Tastemade, a truly data-forward modern media company and streaming network, for bringing more visibility to the industry and FAST networks to drive innovation in their businesses,” said Carol Hanley, chief revenue and strategy officer of Whip Media. “This partnership will help Tastemade to leverage the power of their data to drive revenue and share their premium original lifestyle programming with more audiences.”

DEG Forms New Committees, Defines Terms for Direct-to-Consumer Market

DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group’s D2C Alliance Steering Committee Feb. 25 released a list of industry terminology endorsed by its members to help standardize communication about the various digital streaming models and services and to align the messaging regarding their features and benefits.

The Alliance-adopted terminology spans linear, transactional and subscription businesses:

  • AVOD: Ad-Supported Video-on-Demand services are usually free (no subscription fee) or discounted with the inclusion of advertising.
  • DTC: Direct-to-Consumer services deliver single- or multi-channel content to consumers directly from a network or provider.
  • DTO: Download-to-Own digital content is purchased or licensed from platforms like Amazon Prime and iTunes (similar to EST).
  • EST: Electronic Sell-Through enables standard or premium digital content to be streamed or downloaded by consumers for a fixed one-time fee over an extended period of time across multiple delivery points and devices.
  • FAST: Free Ad-Supported Television linear channels are delivered over the internet and available from third party platforms (e.g., Pluto, Tubi).
  • Linear TV: Linear TV refers to live or prerecorded television programs that are distributed in real time, rather than on-demand, by cable (e.g., Comcast), satellite (e.g., DirecTV), telco (e.g., Verizon Fios) or broadcast OTA (over-the-air) networks, as well as internet-delivered digital program distributors (e.g., Hulu + Live TV, YouTubeTV, SlingTV).
  • MVPD: Multichannel Video Program Distributors offer a variety of different linear content channels from multiple providers over cable, satellite or telco services (e.g., Comcast, DISH, DirecTV, Verizon Fios) on a subscription basis. Virtual MVPDS (vMVPDs) offer channels through internet-delivered services (e.g., Hulu + Live TV, YouTube TV).
  • O&O: O&O is an abbreviated way to reference a broadcast station that is “owned-and-operated” by the network or company that it’s affiliated with. NBC 4 Los Angeles, for example, is owned and operated by NBCUniversal.
  • OTT: Over-the-Top services bypass traditional cable, broadcast and satellite TV platforms and use the internet to deliver or “stream” video directly to viewers. Netflix, Apple TV, and YouTube are all examples of OTT services.
  • PEST: Premium Electronic Sell-Through for a one-time fee offers a specific piece of digital content to be purchased or licensed earlier than its traditional release “window.”
  • PVOD: Premium Video-on-Demand services permit limited-time access, for a one-time fee, to a specific piece of content earlier than its traditional release “window.”
  • SVOD: Subscription Video-on-Demand services require a periodic fixed fee (most often monthly) for accessing and viewing content an unlimited number of times while a subscriber (e.g., Disney+, Netflix, HBO Max, Peacock).
  • TVOD: Transactional Video-on-Demand services charge a one-time fee for viewing a specific piece of content for either a limited rental period (typically 24 or 48 hours), or an extended collection period (EST).

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The DEG’s D2C Alliance is focused on identifying the issues pertaining to both SVOD and AVOD services, including (but not limited to) definitions and standards; uniform messaging; activation and adoption; research and data analytics; consumer consumption patterns; improved quality of service; and generating greater overall awareness about the direct-to-consumer experience.

To this end, the Alliance also recently activated two new committees: TV & Connected Devices and DTC Targeted Services.

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The members of the TV & Connected Devices committee include Amazon, Google, LG Electronics, Microsoft, Samsung, Sony Electronics, TiVo, Verizon and Xfinity. The TV & Connected Devices committee seeks open communication with platforms and services as a way to improve the overall consumer streaming experience.

The DTC Targeted Services committee is comprised of specialized content companies, such as

A+E Networks, AMC Networks, BBC Studios, FilmRise, National Geographic, The Great Courses, PBS Distribution and ScreenHits TV. The goal of the DTC Targeted Services committee is to ensure that the perspective of specialized services is represented in the key industry issues outlined above.

DEG’s D2C Alliance is guided by a group of Steering Committee executives, including Matt Strauss, chairman direct-to-consumer and international at NBCUniversal, as chair; Ron Lamprecht, director corporate business development at Amazon Prime, as vice chair; and Jonathan Zepp, M&E global partnerships, Google Platforms & Ecosystems, and Dan Cohen, president, ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group, as board officers. The officers were elected by the full D2C Alliance Steering Committee.

“Establishing accepted industry terminology is an important early step in both industry relations and consumer outreach,” said Amy Jo Smith, DEG president and CEO, in a statement. “This is an important milestone for the D2C Alliance as it moves forward with a strong base of support across platforms and services, device makers and content owners and distributors.”

Also Feb. 25, the DEG is presenting “The Maturing D2C Landscape,” an event to provide more insights about the emerging DTC ecosystem. The virtual event features experts from across the industry speaking about the targeted services landscape and the role connected devices play in consumer experience.

Redbox Partners With SpotX on Ad Platform

Advertising platform SpotX Feb. 23 announced a partnership with Redbox to serve as a strategic supply-side platform (SSP) to power the video monetization of Redbox’s free live TV and AVOD content.

“As a company that’s focused on creating the very best ad-supported streaming destination to entertain millions of Redbox customers, we partnered with SpotX to support the launch of Redbox’s Live Free TV and Free on Demand because they have valuable insights and expertise in driving programmatic demand and can help us efficiently maximize our platform’s capabilities,” said Terrence Coles, senior director, Redbox Media Network, in a statement.

Redbox’s free streaming platform delivers thousands of hours of curated movies and TV programming.

Redbox Free Live TV has nearly 100 channels of entertainment and Redbox Free On Demand (AVOD), an ad-supported streaming destination featuring hundreds of titles with more added weekly.

The partnership with SpotX opens up new opportunities for media buyers to place their ad campaigns around Redbox’s Free Live TV and AVOD premium inventory, according to a company release. The SpotX platform will power Redbox’s data-driven sales strategy for programmatic campaigns while SpotX’s global Demand Facilitation Team will work to connect media buyers with premium inventory that runs across the SpotX platform, offering brand-safe supply in both open and private marketplaces as well as access to exclusive video inventory.

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Redbox is one of the first customers to utilize Total Connect+, a new capability SpotX has brought to market powered by joint efforts between SpringServe and SpotX. Total Connect+ unifies direct and programmatic demand into a holistic ad decisioning process, helping media owners take more control over their video advertising businesses, according to a company press release.

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“As one of America’s leading destinations for new release movies and entertainment, we’re excited to partner with Redbox as they build out an ad-supported streaming platform,” said Ryan Kenney, VP of platform at SpotX, in a statement. “Advertisers are always looking for ways to reach engaged audiences in premium, brand-safe environments. Redbox’s Live Free TV and Free on Demand Services deliver just that.”

Redbox Free Live TV is available via Redbox.com, Roku, XBox One, iOS and Android devices, as well as Android TV, VIZIO Smart TVs, LG TVs and Chromecast.

FilmRise Picks Up Distribution of TV Movies, Series and Romantic Comedies From Reel One

FilmRise, a New York-based film and TV studio and streaming network, has entered into a distribution agreement with Reel One Entertainment for a package of 15 originally produced romantic comedy films and an additional 100 titles consisting of made-for-TV movies and TV series.

The original movies will debut in the United States this year.

FilmRise will be offering to broadcast and digital platforms five recently completed original films, including A Picture Perfect Wedding, with “Letterkenny” star Tyler Johnston, and A Wedding to Remember, starring Christina Rosato who has been cast in a recurring role on Disney+’s upcoming “Turner & Hooch” series reboot. Producers were able to responsibly produce the films during the pandemic by featuring real-life couples in lead roles.

FilmRise will be the exclusive distributor in the United States across streaming outlets for the licensed made-for-TV movies and series and will sell TV rights alongside Reel One.

These programs include more than 100 titles comprised of female-fronted thrillers that debuted on Lifetime, and holiday, genre films and series such as the family-friendly crime-drama “Detective McClean: Ties That Bind.”

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“We are excited to bring these films and TV series to our digital partners and the FilmRise Streaming Network,” Danny Fisher, CEO of FilmRise, said in a statement. “Feel-good movies have made networks successful over many years, and now more than ever, they have become comfort-viewing for audiences during these challenging times.”

“Reel One is happy to be in business with FilmRise, a company building from strength in digital distribution,” Tom Berry, CEO of Reel One, said in a statement. “We hope that this is just the beginning.”

FilmRise Streaming Network Grows to 31.5M App Downloads

FilmRise Jan. 21 announced that its owned-and-operated streaming network has grown its installed base 30% in 2020, to more than 31.5 million app downloads.

With a library of major studio and independent feature films combined with branded series such as “Unsolved Mysteries,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Forensic Files” and “The Rifleman,” the New York-based film and television studio and streaming network has seen an incredible surge in consumer appetites for free, ad-supported content, according to a press release.

FilmRise’s monthly ad impressions on its owned and operated AVOD network have reached nearly 150 million, it reported.

In 2020, 12 of the channels on FilmRise’s OTT network have each become the world’s largest free AVOD services in their respective genres — including True Crime, Westerns, Sci Fi, Action, Mysteries and Horror — according to the company.

Danny Fisher, FilmRise president and CEO

“2020 was an unprecedented year not only for FilmRise, but for the entire home entertainment ecosystem,” Danny Fisher, president and CEO of FilmRise, said in a statement. “We saw quite rapidly the consumer’s appetite change from broadcast and cable to OTT platforms much sooner than anticipated. The pandemic most certainly shortened the inevitable transition considerably.”

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Multi-title deals in 2020 with entertainment companies, including Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution and Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT), have added content to FilmRise’s channels, the company noted. Content included Warner Bros. films Sleepers, The Informant!, Cobra and Insomnia and NENT’s six seasons of the “Doc Martin” series and the original British version of “Shameless.”

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FilmRise has a library of more than 30,000 movies and TV episodes. It is currently the largest independent provider of content to ad-supported streaming services, according to the company, providing content to platforms including The Roku Channel, Pluto TV, IMDb TV, Peacock, Tubi and Crackle.

‘Little Fires Everywhere’ Premiere, ‘Palm Springs’ Among Hulu’s Most Watched Content in 2020

The season one premiere of “Little Fires Everywhere” was the most-watched episode while Palm Springs was the most watched movie on Hulu in 2020 through Dec. 2, the streaming service reported.

“Little Fires Everywhere,” which premiered with the episode “The Spark” on March 18, is a drama based on the novel starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington.

Palm Springs, which hit Hulu July 10, follows two strangers (Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti) who meet at a Palm Springs wedding only to get stuck in a time loop. Oscar-winner Parasite was the most-watched film on Hulu from March to May.

Among all Hulu viewers (live and on demand), unscripted content was the No. 1 genre in terms of content hours watched and percentage of overall consumption, according to Hulu. Minutes watched in unscripted series increased 48% year over year, driven by top unscripted titles such as “Keeping Up With the Kardashians.”

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The classic TV subgenre saw a 77% year-over-year increase in minutes watched streaming episodes of “I Love Lucy,” “M*A*S*H” and “The Twilight Zone,” among others.

Super Bowl LIV: 49ers vs. Chiefs was the top-streamed Live sports event. Five of Hulu’s top 10 Live programs in 2020 were dedicated to sports: NFL Football, College Football, NBA Basketball, SportsCenter and MLB Baseball together accounted for the majority of Live hours watched.

The top five most watched non-sports and non-news related Live shows were “Wheel of Fortune,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “Family Guy,” “Jeopardy” and “The Simpsons.”

The Oscars, which aired Feb. 9, was the largest non-sports and non-news single event watched.

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The 10-week period March 15 through May 23 experienced the largest number of hours watched per week on Hulu, peaking during the week of April 12-18, according to the service. Hulu viewers watched more hours of TV on April 26 than any other single day, making it the most streamed day of the year. Some of the most-streamed titles that contributed to the record breaking day were “SNL at Home” (with Brad Pitt impersonating Dr. Fauci), all eight episodes of “Little Fires Everywhere” and episode three of the ESPN documentary The Last Dance.

From March through May, overall binge hours on Hulu were up 61% year over year and overall binge sessions were up 44%. Hulu defines “binge” as a session with playback (hours watched) from at least three episodes of the same series and at least 80% completion for each episode.

Hulu Original content dominated the platform in May, with viewers watching “Little Fires Everywhere,” “Normal People,” “Solar Opposites” and “The Great.” They also enjoyed bingeing “Letterkenny” and “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

News was the top genre among Hulu + Live TV subs this year in terms of minutes watched, as nearly 25% of minutes watched in the news category. The Top 3 news programs streamed between March through May were “ABC News Live,” “ABC 20/20” and “ABC World News Tonight with David Muir.”

  

Comcast’s Matt Strauss Discusses How Peacock Spread Its Wings During a Pandemic

Launching NBCUniversal’s new flagship streaming service Peacock might have seemed a daunting task under normal circumstances — but it took on new challenges during a pandemic.

Still, Matt Strauss and his team knew there were many ways Peacock could spread its wings.

Strauss, chairman of direct-to-consumer and international at Comcast, is responsible for all aspects of Peacock, among other duties. The AVOD/SVOD hybrid service has gathered 26 million total subscribers, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell revealed Dec. 8.

Strauss told attendees Dec. 15 at DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group’s virtual pre-CES event that Peacock, which launched in July, is designed to fill an important niche in the increasingly competitive streaming marketplace — and that it has a long-term strategy.

“When we launched Peacock, we really wanted to keep our heads down,” he said. “It was really about execution. We thought that there was an opportunity to surprise and delight people with something that we believe is unique in the market, but at the same time, one of our mantras has really been it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.”

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One initial curveball during launch was the postponement of the Olympics, which had been designed as must-see programming on the new streaming service, to be boosted by an elaborate marketing campaign.

“I’m always a very optimistic person by nature, and I always look for a silver lining,” Strauss said. “I think that there was a silver lining because the week that we were planning to launch nationally for the Olympics — it would have been great in many respects — but at the same time it was a kind of very concentrated way that we were going to launch during the few weeks of the Olympics, and what we ended up doing is coming up with a similar plan, but we spread it out across the back half of the year, and I think that that gave us this ongoing cadence and drumbeat that, from a marketing standpoint, I believe, was actually better than what we had initially planned.”

There was another bright side.

“We actually thought that in a small way Peacock could benefit with everything that was going on in the world, giving people another entertainment option,” he said.

Another advantage Peacock had was companywide expertise and products supporting a service that “really taps into every part of Comcast,” he said. The platform is built from Sky’s Snap TV OTT service, NBCUniversal powered a lot of the programming, and Comcast’s cable unit offered on demand knowledge.

“I myself come from Comcast cable,” he said. “I’ve been at Comcast for 16 years, so I’ve had a front row seat in the evolution that we’ve gone through as a company with the development of X1 and Flex, broadband products. When it came to Peacock, you really had stakeholders from all the different parts of the company with different experiences that were brought to the table when it came to design.”

Peacock tapped Comcast’s X1 and Flex (Internet-only) customers to refine the user interface by offering its premium service to them first at no additional cost in April.

“It was a really interesting sandbox, and we wanted to use three months to really harden the application,” he said.

Executives didn’t want Peacock to be a “me too” service, so they combined the experience of watching linear TV with on-demand components and a unique “trending” feature, tapping into how younger generations interact with video. They also decided to offer ads, in a departure from other new services Disney+ and Apple TV+, as well as established SVOD player Netflix.

“We know the trends that everybody else is looking at,” he said. “You’re continuing to see pay-TV decline, not really because people don’t like pay television, but because they’re getting priced out. The average cable or satellite bill is $85 a month. And then you’re looking at a service like Netflix, which has done a very good job at creating a good price-value equation, that others are moving towards, and you know there’s a lot of competition in the streaming space and it’s only grown in past 18 months, and a lot of it is trying to go after Netflix, and we realized that that wasn’t really where we thought the opportunity was for us.”

They decided on offering a free, ad-supported component to combat this subscription fatigue.

“At some point, when you’re paying for internet and now two, three or four subscription services, I think for some people it becomes frustrating,” he said.

The Peacock team also concentrated on offering a unique product.

“Our ambition with Peacock is to really position ourselves as the premium ad-supported aggregation streaming service,” he said. “We didn’t call ourselves NBC+. We didn’t call ourselves that for a reason — because we wanted to position ourselves as an aggregator that can go beyond the boundaries of our catalog and our content. But we also believe as we continue to produce more programming, add more content, that there’s also an opportunity for us to migrate customers to subscription.”

They also knew there was an opportunity to address a need in the advertising community as more eyeballs were moving to streaming.

“There was a pent-up demand that was growing with advertisers looking for the ability to participate,” he said. “But they want to participate with premium content, and there weren’t a lot of options in the streaming space that they could participate in that way, and we saw that as a sweet spot for us.”

In contrast to other ad-supported streaming services, Peacock has a more user-friendly ad load of no more than five minutes of ads per hour, he said.

“We felt really fortunate that we were able to secure 10 premium launch sponsors with Peacock, and the benefit is that they get an uncluttered environment,” he said. “They also have a seat at the table as we’re developing the product because in many respects our ambition is really not just to look at this as a 15-second spot or a 30-second spot but how do we start to find other creative ways through ad innovation that we can bring the advertisers to light.”

Unlike other services, Peacock also avoids repeating ads to a customer over and over again.

“Even if it’s a limited ad load, there’s nothing more frustrating in my opinion than seeing the same ad in different pods while you’re watching a show,” he said.

Looking into 2021, Strauss sees a wealth of programming coming, in part due to production slowdowns and the Olympics delay.

“The Olympics got shifted, and now next year, we’ll almost have two Olympics within a relatively short amount of time,” he said. “Even though we were able to launch over a dozen original series this year, we had more planned, and now we’re going to have more next year than we had initially contemplated because of COVID.”

The service in January will serve up a Wild Card game with the NFL, and then there’s the sitcom juggernaut “The Office,” which also hits the service that month. NBCUniversal outbid Netflix, on which “The Office” reigned as one of the top programs, to bring the comedy to Peacock.

“We’ve got some exciting things in how we can present ‘The Office’ in a way that’s maybe a little bit more unique than what people have seen in the past,” he said.

The first two seasons (2005-06) of the series will be available for free with ads, while subsequent seasons, in addition to “Superfan Episodes,” will be available on Peacock Premium for $4.99 monthly with ads; $9.99 without ads. The “Superfan Episodes” offer unseen footage, extended cuts and deleted scenes.

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Having tried to launch an on-demand service almost 20 years ago, Strauss said he feels “almost like a kid in a candy store” with the technology and marketplace Peacock is in today.

“I feel fortunate that I was almost given an opportunity to do it again, but to do it in a way where the technology has evolved, clearly audiences and users have evolved, and the distribution has grown significantly,” he said.

Starting a streaming VOD service from scratch has been a unique opportunity, he said.

“I’ve got this sandbox,” he said. “I can really try to push the envelope to where I think the puck is going with what people are looking for, and the bar’s lower because I’m starting with almost no subscribers, so it’s an opportunity for us to iterate quickly, learn quickly.”

Survey: One-Third of Consumers Signed Up for a New TV Service Since Summer

From July to November, one-third of consumers in Hub’s “Predicting the Pandemic” research survey had signed up for a new TV service, up six points from the summer.

The second, just-released wave of the study shows how the pandemic has accelerated the already well-established shift to online consumption of entertainment content.

During that same period, one in four canceled a TV service, up five points. All told, 40% had made at least some change to their TV subscriptions by November, nine points higher than in the summer.

The top four streaming services saw the strongest net increases among those who either added or dropped. Netflix and Disney+ were the most likely to see a net gain in November with half of those who made changes to their TV services adding Netflix and one-third adding Disney+. Meanwhile, only single-digit percentages dropped each of these services.

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On the other hand, consumers were much more likely to drop a live TV service than to add one. Half of those who made TV service changes dropped a live TV streaming service (such as YouTube TV, Hulu + Live TV or Sling TV). One-third dropped a traditional cable, satellite or telco TV subscription. Fewer than one in five added either type of service.

Use of free, ad-supported TV platforms (AVODs) continued to accelerate, including the newly launched, free version of Peacock. AVOD use continued the upward trend seen in the summer with the percent using each major service up since July (and use in July was higher than February, before the start of the crisis). Peacock, released to the general public in mid-July, has quickly become the third-most watched AVOD service, behind the Roku Channel and Tubi.

With many films skipping theatrical release due to COVID, consumer purchase of first-run movies from streaming platforms has jumped significantly. One-fourth of all TV consumers in November said they’d purchased a first-run movie from a streamer, up from fewer than one in five over the summer.

Among those who currently owned a Smart TV, 26% said they purchased their Smart TV during the pandemic — up a full 12 points from July.

“If there were any doubts that some of the changes we’re seeing in leisure habits are here to stay, those doubts were erased when Warner Bros. announced that its entire slate of 2021 films would be released on HBO Max at the same time as theaters,” said Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the study, in a statement. “And with providers like Comcast deciding to impose data caps across its entire footprint as of Jan. 1, it’s clear that many companies agree that streaming content is now the new normal.”

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The hub study surveyed 3,000 U.S. consumers, age 14-74, who watched at least 1 hour of TV per week. The data were collected in October and November 2020.

Cinedigm Partners With Bloody Disgusting for Ad-Supported Horror Streaming Network

Cinedigm and horror Web brand Bloody Disgusting have partnered to launch a new AVOD and ad-supported linear horror streaming network set to premiere in time for the Halloween season.

The network will offer a free source for horror content, targeting genre enthusiasts and casual viewers alike, according to a press release.

Featuring a mix of horror classics, contemporary cult favorites, and original programming, the channel will “reflect the programming and curatorial sensibilities” of Bloody Disgusting and the technology and distribution capabilities of Cinedigm, according to the release. Cinedigm will push the channel to more than 60 partners globally, which includes distribution partners such as Vizio, Samsung, Xumo and Tubi.

Horror is one of the most popular entertainment genres worldwide, representing over 9% of all film and entertainment spending and generating more than $1.2B in global ticket sales in 2019, according to the release.

“Despite a huge, mainstream fanbase, there is no dedicated ad-supported horror network on either basic cable or via linear OTT distribution,” according to the release. “Bloody Disgusting’s launch will fill an important void for operators in this popular genre.”

For nearly 20 years, Bloody Disgusting has been a destination for horror aficionados with an audience of more than 20 million dedicated fans seeking coverage of all things horror. The Chicago-based media company produces a namesake website and mobile app, and also produces the weekly show on YouTube “This Week in Horror” with a social footprint of more than 2 million engaged fans. Bloody Disgusting has also both produced and distributed films in the horror genre, including the Sundance Film Festival films V/H/S, V/H/S/2 and The Woman, as well as the TIFF Midnight Madness film Southbound.

The Bloody Disgusting channel will celebrate horror alongside feature presentations of their original films. New programming from Jon Grilz’ “Creepy,” “Bloody Disgusting’s Boo Crew,” “SCP Archives,” “Horror Queers” and “This Week in Horror” will also debut on the network this October with special trick-or-treat events planned for Halloween.

Cinedigm will also provide content from its catalog, which includes horror titles such as The Collector, Psycho, White Zombie and “Tales from the Crypt” and foreign favorites such as Destroy All Monsters, World of Kanako and Tenebrae.

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Bloody Disgusting has had more than 1.6 million downloads over the last 30 days, according to the release. Its podcasts regularly chart in the top 20 in their respective categories (Fiction, Film Review, and Film Interview). “Creepy” charts in the top five in fiction and is in the top 20 of all podcasts during the Halloween season. Both current and new podcasts will be made available in the consumer iOS and Android apps in addition to film and television programming. The company further expects to include additional mixed media content, including eBooks, comics and other content in the near future.

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“We are excited to bring our slate of original programming and network of podcasts to new audiences through this partnership. Cinedigm is the perfect partner to help bring this network to market,” said Tom Owen, president of Bloody Disgusting, in a statement.

“For nearly 20 years, Bloody Disgusting has been a leading tastemaker and the top media destination for the massive global horror fanbase,” Erick Opeka, president of Cinedigm Digital Networks, said in a statement. “Our goal is to partner with the market leader when we launch new channels, and in the horror genre, there is no better partner than Bloody Disgusting. We are excited to scare the hell out of the world together.”

Pluto TV Bows in Latin America

ViacomCBS-owned AVOD service Pluto TV has launched in Latin America.

The service is available via web browser at www.pluto.tv, Apple TV, Android TV and mobile device apps for download in iOS and Android in 17 Latin American countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Paraguay, El Salvador, Uruguay and Venezuela.

“As Pluto TV expands rapidly around the world, I am thrilled to announce that Pluto TV is now available to the consumers in Latin America, one of the world’s most important and biggest markets,” J.C. Acosta, president, ViacomCBS Networks Americas, said in a statement. “This innovative product offering is a great complement to our OTT products. It allows us to continue to entertain audiences across the region and work with our partners to bring this never before seen offering of free streaming television to Latin American audiences.”

“We launched Pluto TV six years ago with a mission to entertain the planet and a vision to become the global leader in free streaming television. Now, we are the leading free streaming TV platform in America and growing rapidly in Europe,” Tom Ryan, CEO and co-founder of Pluto TV, said in a statement. “Today marks a major step forward in our mission, and we are thrilled to offer people across Latin America, one of the world’s largest markets, access to our popular streaming TV service.”

Pluto TV Latin America has 24 curated channels and will continue to add new channels on a monthly basis for the next 12 months to reach more than 70 channels of streaming entertainment programming in Spanish, according to the ViacomCBS release. Pluto TV Latin America has already entered into partnerships with more than 60 major media and content providers, building a library of 12,000 hours of content, which the new service for Spanish-speaking audiences in Latin America will offer, according to the release. Programming tailored to Latin America includes television series and movies across genres including reality, anime, lifestyle, reality competitions, nature, true crime and kids’ content.

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New content partners have been added to ones previously announced. These include A2 Filmes, All3Media, Alliant, BBC Studios, Beverly Hills Entertainment, Big Media, Blue Ant Media, Caracol, Castalia, CDC International, Cineflix, Cisneros Media, Comarex, Combate Americas, DRG, Endemol Shine, FilmRise, FourK, Fremantle, Glory Sports, Gusto Distribution, Hard Knocks Fighting, Hearst, Indigenius, Impact Wrestling, Inverleigh, Kinpil, Latin Angels, Leda Films, Legendary Entertainment, Life Design, Lionsgate, Marvista, Motion Pictures, MPI Media, MTV, Nelvana, New Dominion, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Off The Fence, OTRO, Paramount, Polar Star, Pongalo, Sabbatical Entertainment, Samuel Goldwyn, Sofa Digital, Sonar Entertainment, Sony Pictures Television, Spanglish Movies, Syndicado, Telefe, Televix, The Asylum, TV Azteca, VIP 2000, Viz Media, Wildbrain and World Poker Tour.

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Pluto TV also added a “Quedate en casa #JuntosADistancia” in its On-Demand section for stay-at-home customers.