FilmRise Inks New Deal With ITV Studios for Shows Such as ‘Hell’s Kitchen’

FilmRise has announced a deal that extends and expands its partnership with ITV Studios Global Entertainment for streaming rights to more than 1,000 hours of programming across SVOD and AVOD platforms.

In addition to new titles being distributed by FilmRise, the company is digitally distributing all 18 seasons of Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen” and all seasons of “Kitchen Nightmares” for SVOD and AVOD in the United States.

FilmRise has also extended its multi-year rights for the shows and will also become the exclusive digital distributor of “Hell’s Kitchen” in Canada.

The deal furthers FilmRise’s distribution to Canada, extending the original deal struck in early 2018 between the two companies, and includes shows such as “Emmerdale,” “Heartbeat” and “Peak Practice,” which will now be available on AVOD and SVOD in all of North America.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“We are excited about increasing our partnership with ITV Studios Global Entertainment,” said FilmRise CEO Danny Fisher in a statement. “This deal expands the scope of our rights, including into Canada, providing access to audiences across North America to stream these high-quality programs.”

“FilmRise is an exceptional partner,” added Rob Kaplan, VP sales, U.S. and global accounts at ITV Studios Global Entertainment, in a statement. “The company’s distribution network across SVOD and AVOD platforms in North America will allow audiences of our fan favorite programming to have many different viewing options.”

As part of the deal, FilmRise will also be bringing the comedy series “Miranda,” sci-fi shows “Saphire & Steel” and Gerry Anderson’s “UFO,” and Jason Isaac’s crime drama “Case Histories” to its North American streaming audiences.

‘Kids & Family’ Service Added to the Roku Channel

Roku has announced the addition of the “Kids & Family” service on the Roku Channel, making it easy for children and parents to find a selection of tailored content available for free and through premium subscriptions, according to the company.

In addition, Roku is rolling out parental control features for the Roku Channel.

“We recognize that it can be a challenge to find quality kids and family entertainment across multiple streaming channels, particularly free, ad-supported options,” said Rob Holmes, VP of programming and engagement, Roku, in a statement. “’Kids & Family’ not only provides a selection of great free, ad-supported content from partners like pocket.watch with ‘Ryan’s World’ and Lionsgate’s ‘Leapfrog,’ but also highlights kids’ entertainment from existing premium subscriptions partners. Parents looking to find great programming for their children will enjoy the ease of going to the Roku Channel as their one place for kids and family entertainment.”

“Kids & Family” delivers a blend of shows, movies, and live linear and short-form video typically found across multiple free and paid kids’ channels and brings them together to watch in a single place, according to a Roku release. In addition to free, ad-supported options, users who have already subscribed to premium subscriptions through the Roku Channel will be able to view subscription-based kids and family content from partners such as Hopster, Noggin and Zoomoo, as well as children’s entertainment from services such as HBO and Starz, directly within “Kids & Family.”

Roku’s in-house editorial team created the “Kids & Family” experience to feature series, movies and entertainment for kids, according to the release. It offers 7,000 free, ad-supported movies and TV episodes from more than 20 partners such as All Spark, A Hasbro Company, DHX Media, Happy Kids TV, Lionsgate, Mattel, Moonbug, and pocket.watch, among others. Programming includes  shows such as “Care Bears,” “The Cat in the Hat,” “Leapfrog,” “Little Baby Bum,” “My Little Pony,” “Rev & Roll,” “Super Mario Brothers” and “Thomas & Friends”; live/linear streams featuring 24/7 kids programming available from Moonbug, pocket.watch and partners powered by Xumo, including Ameba, BatteryPop and KidGenius; five exclusive episodes of 22-minute series “Ryan’s World” by pocket.watch available directly on the Roku Channel for the first time; and premium subscriptions from Blue Ant Media’s ZooMoo, CONtv, Dove Channel, HBO, Hopster, Noggin, Starz or Up Faith and Family through the Roku Channel, featuring such series as “Bubble Guppies,” “Dora the Explorer,” “PAW Patrol,” “Peppa Pig” and movies including Adventures of Elmo in Groucholand and Muppets Take Manhattan.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“There is a tremendous opportunity to expand our reach with the quickly growing audience on the Roku Channel,” said Chris M. Williams, founder and CEO, pocket.watch, in a statement. “Family time is often enjoyed in the living room where Roku is so successful and we’re thrilled to bring our biggest creator partners, like Ryan from ‘Ryan’s World,’ into the heart of the home through the new pocket.watch channel.”

Kids & Family” will have approximately 40% of the advertising time of traditional linear television, according to Roku. Lego Systems has signed on as the first advertising sponsor of the service.

“Roku offers a custom experience that will help us connect with our kid and family audiences, who are consuming content on an evolving array of platforms,” said Michael McNally, senior director at the Lego Group, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to be the exclusive sponsorship partner in ‘Kids & Family’ on The Roku Channel.”

PIN-based playback controls to the Roku Channel help parents set access limits to content based on ratings within the Roku Channel. If the setting is enabled, a PIN will be required in order to view videos on the Roku Channel based on the content rating.

“Kids & Family” is now available to users of the Roku Channel in the United States and will be available on Roku devices, via the Web and on select Samsung smart TVs that access the Roku Channel.

Xumo AVOD Service Launches on Comcast Xfinity X1 and Android TV

Streaming TV company Xumo announced its ad-supported TV service, which delivers live and on-demand TV and movie channels, is now available over the internet on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 platform.

It is Xumo’s largest pay-TV partnership to date, according to the company.

Xumo is also now available on more than 10 Android TV-supported devices, including select Sony smart TV models, Nvidia Shield and Xiaomi Mi Box.

The new partnerships dramatically increase the availability of Xumo in the United States to more than 30 different devices, according to the company.

X1 customers are now able to access Xumo by saying “Xumo” into their X1 voice remote or by finding it within the apps section. Xumo continues to be available on Xfinity Flex.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“We’re focused on bringing our service to the most popular devices available and have expanded to a record number of new platforms this year alone,” noted Xumo’s SVP of product Chris Hall in a statement. “Partners like Comcast are embracing FAST apps like Xumo that provide easy access to a wealth of additional top-quality programming. Providing expanded live channel options for customers on Xfinity X1 and Flex, Android TV and our entire app portfolio is core to our mission to provide the best free entertainment experience available in streaming today.”

In addition to prioritizing as-it-happens news and events, Xumo offers a library of on-demand content, including thousands of movie titles; programming spanning several genres, including series such as “This Old House” and “Divorce Court”; and full seasons of shows such as “Unsolved Mysteries” and “Forensic Files” from FilmRise and “Nurses Who Kill,” “Wonderland” and animated series “Black Jack” from AMMO.

AVOD Service Tubi Targets Netflix, Hulu in Outdoor Branding Campaign

Tubi, the San Francisco-based ad-supported streaming video service, has rolled out what it says is its largest-ever outdoor branding campaign.

Beginning Aug. 5, billboards and high-res images, including, “Dear Netflix, I had my first freesome last night. Tubi was amazing,” and “Dear Hulu, I was with Tubi last night, but I only watched,” will be on display along high-traffic locations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit.

The creatives are a tongue-in-cheek campaign that takes into account the price hikes of current and growing number of soon-to-be-launched streaming services (i.e. Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max, etc.) in the coming year.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Tubi says its marketing campaign comes at a time when consumers are experiencing “subscription fatigue,” contending AVOD offers premium streaming for free.

Other banners include, “Dear Netflix, I didn’t think you’d find out. I streamed Tubi last night”; “Dear Hulu, you’re cool and all, but I couldn’t take my eyes off Tubi last night”; and “Dear NYC. You free tonight? Because we are.”

Tubi features more than 15,000 library movies and television series from more than 200 content partners, including Warner Bros., NBC Universal, MGM and Lionsgate, among others.

The service in June announced that its monthly users topped 20 million in May with more than 94 million hours of content consumed.

As part of the campaign, San Francisco-based Tubi said it would take to the skies — which it apparently did in a midday flyover of Netflix’s Sunset Boulevard office in West Hollywood.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Tubi

 

 

FilmRise Adds Free Content to Sling TV

FilmRise July 28 announced it has partnered with Dish Network’s online TV service, Sling TV, to add free ad-supported content to the service.

Sling TV subscribers using Roku devices will be able to watch programming from the New York-based distributor even if they are not a FilmRise base service subscriber.

Sling Orange and Sling Blue subscribers will automatically see FilmRise available as a channel in their channel guide, and Sling users on Roku devices can access the content by opening the Sling app and selecting “browse as guest” option.

“Sling provides consumers with their favorite TV programming and now, with this new offering, they can further their audience’s options without viewers’ payment commitment,” Danny Fisher of FilmRise said in a statement. “It’s a win-win for all.”

FilmRise titles available on Sling TV include, series “Forensic Files,” “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Unsolved Mysteries,” “3rd Rock from the Sun,” and “Kitchen Nightmares.” Movies include Bernie, The Illusionist and the “Ernest” franchise, among others.

The pact comes as Sling TV has seen subscriber growth cool. It added just 48,000 subscribers in the most-recent fiscal period to end the period with 2.47 million subs — four years after launching.

Amazon Punts on Ad-Supported Prime Video

As early pioneers of subscription video-on-demand, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu command a lions share of North American over-the-top video consumers.

Yet other than Hulu’s basic subscription plan, none of the services feature advertising – despite collectively having more than 100 million domestic subs.

With original content costs skyrocketing, industry analysts contend it’s only a matter of time before Netflix & Co. welcome Madison Ave.’s fiscal largess.

When asked on the July 25 fiscal call whether Amazon (i.e. Prime Video) might become a “bigger player” in video advertising, Dave Fildes, director of investor relations, largely avoided giving a straight answer.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“We’ve taken some steps with live sports and [ad-supported subsidiary] IMDb TV, but we’ll continue to do things like add more OTT video supply, things like Amazon Publisher Services integrations and simplifying access for third-party apps and add more inventory through things like Fire TV apps and IMDb TV,” Fildes said.

Translation: Don’t expect to see ads on Prime Video anytime soon.

Instead, Amazon plans to focus ad-revenue growth through a suite of cloud-based platforms such as Publisher Services, which feature “transparent” ad marketplaces for mobile apps and intel “insights” on third-party consumers, among other features.

“It’s a matter of continuing to work with advertisers and brands and kind of building up not only awareness, but how things like sponsored products interact with customers and how they [perceive] them,” Fildes said.

Indeed, Netflix contends subscribers would react negatively to ads.

“We believe we will have a more valuable business in the long term by staying out of competing for ad revenue and instead entirely focusing on competing for viewer satisfaction,” CEO Reed Hastings said on the SVOD behemoth’s recent call.

At the same time, NBC Universal is rolling out a branded ad-supported streaming service next April for Xfinity subscribers. Non-subs will be able to pay for access.

“Our service is … a very innovative way of coming into the market,” Steve Burke, CEO of NBC Universal, said on Comcast’s July 25 fiscal call.

 

 

‘Robotech’ Catalog Streaming on AVOD Platforms

All series and the feature Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles from the anime franchise “Robotech” are available to stream at no cost on AVOD platforms, including The Roku Channel, Vudu and FilmRise, FilmRise announced.

The announcement was made July 18 during the Robotech panel at San Diego Comic-Con by Harmony Gold.

The content available to stream includes all 85 episodes of  the original syndicated television series, all 85 re-mastered “original edit” episodes of the entire series, all 36 episodes of “Super Dimension Fortress Macross,” all 23 episodes of “Super Dimension Cavalry Southern Cross,” all 25 episodes of “Genesis Climber Mospeada,” the feature The Shadow Chronicles, and up to 11 hours of bonus features from both the series and the film.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

View the trailer here.

Pluto TV Launches Spanish-Language Platform

Pluto TV, Viacom’s ad-supported online TV service, July 1 announced the launch of Pluto TV Latino, a new platform featuring a suite of Spanish and Portuguese-language channels.

Pluto TV Latino represents the first offering of its kind to be introduced on a major ad-supported OTT platform.

The platform features 11 curated Spanish and Portuguese-language channels targeting U.S. Hispanic audiences. More than 2,000 hours of content includes movies, comedy, music, true crime, reality, sports and a selection of action and romance-packed telenovelas.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The channels include three movie-themed channels showcasing blockbuster and native Spanish-language films, and all-new genre-specific channels featuring library collections, music specials, comedies, crime series, telenovelas and more from MTV, Comedy Central, Telemundo, Combate World and Lucha Libre.

Additional channels are expected to launch this fall featuring genres such as food, travel, competition, kids and single-series channels featuring  Spanish-speaking and dubbed versions.

“We have always envisioned Pluto TV as a destination with global appeal, where diverse audiences can find and stream the entertainment they love, for free,” Tom Ryan, CEO/co-founder, Pluto TV, said in a statement.

The introduction Pluto TV Latino is a multi-faceted initiative designed to offer diversified, ad-supported, streaming programming and entertainment with global appeal, according to Ryan.

Spanish-themed channels include Pluto TV Cine Estelar, Pluto TV Películas, Pluto TV Cine Latino, Pluto TV Investiga, Pluto TV Novelas, Telemundo Telenovelas Clásicas, MTV Latino, Comedy Central Latino and Pluto TV Brasil.

“Pluto TV Latino was designed to bring premium streaming programming to an underserved OTT audience with cross-generational appeal,” Ryan said. “To be the first ad-supported streaming platform to offer an entire category dedicated to U.S. Hispanic audiences is something we are incredibly proud of and furthers our mission to entertain the planet.”

Ad-Supported VOD Revenue to Reach $56 Billion by 2024, Driven by U.S.

Ad-supported video-on-demand, the free streaming video alternative to subscription VOD, continues to gain momentum.

New data from Digital TV Research projects AVOD revenue will more than double between 2018 and 2024 topping $56 billion across 138 countries — including notably in the United States. Online TV and video advertising has been considerably boosted in recent years by the rapid growth in mobile advertising, according to DTR.

While AVOD penetration in the Asia Pacific region is well-established, topping $10.73 billion in 2018 with 49% of the global marketshare, the rest of the world is catching up. Despite more than doubling to $25.14 billion by 2024, Asia Pacific’s marketshare will fall to 45%.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter

From the $34.42 billion additional revenue to be generated between 2018 and 2024, Asia Pacific will contribute $14.41 billion and North America $14.20 billion. All of the other regions will at least double their totals.

“China is the largest AVOD country — commanding 36% of the 2018 global total, with $7.78 billion,” Simon Murray, principal analyst at Digital TV Research, said in a statement. “Most OTT viewing in China is on mobile phones to AVOD-supported platforms. China will still generate 29% of the global total by 2024 with $16.60 billion.”

Murray said the U.S. will become the AVOD leader by 2023.

Indeed, several large platform domestic launches (i.e. NBC Universal, Sony Crackle) are expected in the near future, in addition to San Francisco-based Tubi TV, which bowed in 2014 with more than 9,000 movies and television shows, Amazon’s IMDb TV (formerly IMDb Freedive) and The Roku Channel, among others.

“The U.S. will more than triple its AVOD revenue total between 2018 and 2024 to $19.23 billion — or 34% of the global total,” Murray said.

Tubi Surpasses 20 Million Monthly Active Users

AVOD movie and television service Tubi announced it has surpassed 20 million monthly active users.

Customers watched more than 94 million hours of content during May, Tubi’s single biggest month of revenue in the company’s history, according to the company.

Tubi’s library has more than 15,000 movies and television series, and more than 44,000 hours of content available free to consumers from more than 200 content partners including major studios such as Warner Bros., NBCUniversal, MGM, Lionsgate, and others.

“Tubi has made remarkable strides in the first half of the year, further demonstrating the vitality of AVOD in an environment fatigued by the amount of subscription video options,” said Farhad Massoudi, CEO of Tubi, in a statement. “Our recent deals this year with NBCUniversal, Lionsgate, Warner Bros., and others resonated very well with our customers, and we’re excited to provide even more premium content this year.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Available in the United States and Canada, Tubi can be accessed on more than 25 devices including Roku, Amazon FireTV, Comcast Xfinity, Cox Contour, iOS, Android and others, according to the company.