Eight Cinedigm Networks Coming to Free OTT Service DistroTV

Cinedigm is partnering with global OTT streaming service DistroTV to bring eight of its networks to the free platform’s programming roster this month.

They include the fanspace-based outlet CONtv and CONtv Anime, the family-focused Dove Channel, and the fact-based Docurama, as well as Chinese pop culture channel Bambu, stand-up special supplier Comedy Dynamics, combat sports hub Combat Go, and global Asian pop culture community HallyPop.

DistroTV offers a diverse range of programming options covering sports, news, entertainment, travel, film, television, fashion, fitness, music and more in live, linear and on-demand formats. DistroTV is available for free on iOS, Android, Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices.

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“As one of the first major partners of the DistroTV streaming service, Cinedigm is once again breaking new ground — expanding our distribution footprint event further with the launch of eight of our most popular networks on the growing entertainment platform,” said Tony Huidor, Cinedigm’s GM of digital networks, in a statement. “DistroTV and Cinedigm share a similar vision of redefining the traditional television experience and putting the power back in the hands of the user. This agreement plays an integral role in our mission to deliver our unique channels and programming to viewers all across the globe, opening up our eclectic offerings to a whole new audience. We look forward to supplying DistroTV with more of the same top-quality content that our networks are known for.”

“We are thrilled to team with Cinedigm and to deliver their exciting suite of channels.” said Navdeep Saini, CEO and founder of DistroTV parent company DistroScale, in a statement. “The quality and variety of their content fits perfectly with our global free streaming platform DistroTV.”

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Cinedigm Touts Cloud-Based Tech for Pending Chinese AVOD Channel

Cinedigm April 11 gave a shout out to a cloud-based technology company it is in the process of acquiring.

The home entertainment distributor recently entered into an agreement to acquire Future Today for $45 million in cash, and $15 million in common stock. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019.

Cinedigm said it would use Future Today’s cloud-based technology and ad-based monetization platform for the June launch of its Chinese-themed ad-supported VOD channel Bambu.

Future Today owns and operates more than 700 content channels with more than 60 million app installs, and managing 200,000-plus film, television and digital content assets Cinedigm claims receive 85 million video views per month.

Using their advertising technology and sales capabilities, Cinedigm says Future Today will play a crucial role in the monetization of Bambu, which includes television, set-top boxes, mobile apps and online services.

With a primary focus on millennial and Gen Z viewers, Bambu offers curated programming spanning far beyond stereotypical martial arts dramas, instead putting the spotlight on actioners, serials, romantic comedies, sci-fi, horror and fantasy, as well as music, reality series and educational programming ranging from instructional Chinese language courses to culinary shows.

Movies include Jackie Chan in the 2017 fantasy Namiya, Ziyi Zhang in the 2013 spy farce My Lucky Star, sci-fi mystery Battle of Memories, supernatural rom-com Beautiful Accident, road trip comedy Breakup Buddies, the noir-inspired crime drama Cock and Bull, cat-and-mouse thriller The Devotion of Suspect Xand father-and-son drama Lost and Love, among others.

TV shows include “Journey to the West,” the most-watched television show in Chinese history; current hit “Diamond Lover,” and the acclaimed documentary series “A Bite of China,” among others.

“[Future Today’s] long-established and highly successful advertising and sales strategies are a truly invaluable resource that will play a vital role in further expanding [Bambu’s],” Erick Opeka, president of Cinedigm Digital Networks, said in a statement.

Cinedigm OTT Video Channels Top 102,000 Subscribers, 2.4M AVOD Viewers

Home entertainment distributor Cinedigm announced several milestones for its portfolio of over-the-top video services – including an estimated 2.4 million monthly active ad-supported viewers and 102,000 active subscribers.

The Los Angeles-based distributor’s OTT channels, which include Dove Channel, CONtv, Docurama, CombatGo and Wham Network, offer nearly 12,000 hours of movie, television and live entertainment.

Pending services include Korean, Chinese and South East Asian pop culture network HallyPop and Bambu, offering Chinese action movies, serial dramas, romantic comedies, sci-fi, horror, as well as music and reality series to American audiences.

Cinedigm said it facilitated channel launches across 10 new distribution partners over the last two quarters, including Dish Network, Sling TV, Comcast Xfinity, Samsung TV Plus, Xumo, Pluto TV, Sinclair’s Stirr, Vizio Watch Free TV, and The Roku Channel, representing a total base of more than 126 million customers and devices.

“Our accomplishments in the last few months demonstrate Cinedigm’s vision of effectively delivering premium OTT entertainment content globally, no matter the device or business model,” Erick Opeka, president of Cinedigm Digital Networks, said in a statement.

Opeka said the company would continue to focus on launching new channels, investing in technology, growing the user base, monetizing ad-supported offerings and expanding its footprint of addressable devices.

Indeed, Cinedigm OTT services achieved 370% year-over-year growth in ad-supported user base across linear and ad-supported VOD platforms. Achieved over 205% quarter-over-quarter growth in connected television ad-requests. Grew content library by 6,200 film and television assets – more than 116% year-over-year.

Grew total social media footprint to 857,000 followers across YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.

Cinedigm also acquired ComicBlitz, a subscription digital comic service, and announced the acquisition of Viewster, a pop-culture ad-supported streaming service. These acquisitions add more than 7,100 movie, television and digital publishing assets from more than 70 content partners.

It launched Matchpoint, an OTT platform and application framework that speeds time to market, while reducing the total operating expense for channel operators and content distributors.

 

Cinedigm Inks Content License Deal with China Lion

Cinedigm Jan. 23 announced it has entered into a non-exclusive content licensing agreement with China Lion to release more than 40 Chinese-language movies on the home entertainment distributor’s pending streaming channel, Bambu.

“This deal delivers dozens of very strong and well-known films, and perfectly complements the [China International TVCorporation]deal we recently announced, which was more TV episodic content,” Bill Sondheim, president of Cinedigm Entertainment Group and worldwide distribution, said in a statement. “We are particularly pleased that the titles are all subtitled, allowing for the best representation of the original film versions and adds to the authentic high-profile content foundation for Bambu.”

Bambu’s primary focus is Gen Z demo (ages 16-24), and Millennial viewers (ages 25-35). Together, those viewers represent more than 27% of the U.S. population.

“When we started China Lion back in 2010, Cinedigm was our first strategic home entertainment partner,” said China Lion CEO Yanming Jiang.

The titles expected on the launch of Bambu include:

 THE ARK OF MR CHOW

  • BATTLE OF MEMORIES
  • BEAUTIFUL ACCIDENT
  • BREAKUP BUDDIES
  • BUDDIES IN INDIA
  • BULLET VANISHES
  • COCK AND BULL (2016)
  • DETECTIVE CHINATOWN
  • THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X
  • DOUBLE TROUBLE
  • THE EX-FILE 3: THE RETURN OF THE EXES
  • EXPLOSION (2017)
  • FALL IN LOVE LIKE A STAR
  • FLEET OF TIME (aka BACK IN TIME)
  • A FOOL
  • FOR A FEW BULLETS
  • FOREVER YOUNG (2015)
  • THE GOLDEN ERA
  • GO AWAY MR TUMOR
  • GOODBYE MR LOSER
  • I BELONGED TO YOU
  • A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME WITH ANTHONY
  • THE LAST WOMEN STANDING
  • LET’S GET MARRIED
  • LOBSTER COP
  • LOST AND LOVE
  • MR DONKEY
  • MR SIX
  • MY LUCKY STAR
  • NAMIYA
  • THE NEW YEAR’S EVE OF OLD LEE
  • NEW YORK, NEW YORK (2016)
  • ONLY YOU (2015)
  • OOLONG COURTYARD: KUNG FU SCHOOL
  • OUR TIME WILL COME
  • SO I MARRIED AN ANTI-FAN
  • SO YOUNG
  • SO YOUNG 2: NEVER GONE
  • SWEET SIXTEEN (2016)
  • TILL THE END OF THE WORLD
  • THE VIRAL FACTOR
  • THE WASTED TIME
  • THE WITNESS (2015)
  • WOMEN WHO FLIRT

The deal follows Cinedigm’s recently-announced partnership with China International TVCorporationto bring more than 500 hours of Chinese content to the U.S. through Bambu, including “Nirvana in Fire,” TV ratings hit in China in 2015; documentary A Bite of China; “Journey to the West,” the most-watched show in Chinese television history, and current series, “The Advisors Alliance” and “Diamond Lover.”

A partnership with Youku to distribute 30 original Chinese feature filmsin North America on all platforms including Bambu, digital, DVD and Blu-ray Disc, and across all OTT platforms, with a primary focus on major streaming platforms and niche outlets.

A content licensing agreement with Starrise Media Holdings Limited to release several Starrise productions on Bambu. The titles have not yet been announced.

Cinedigm Launching Chinese-Centric Bambu SVOD Service

Cinedigm Dec. 10 announced a content licensing agreement with Chinese entertainment company Starrise Media Holdings Limited for the pending over-the-top video platform Bambu in the United States. Title selections, the details of which have not yet been released, will be included as part of the Bambu launch in early 2019.

Bambu’s target users include Gen Z (ages 16-24) and millennial (ages 25-35). Those viewers represent over 27% of the U.S. population. This deal follows licensing partnerships with Chinese media companies Youku and China International TVCorporation.

“We believe that the innovative and creative content currently being produced in China can build a genuine fan base here in the U.S.,” Bill Sondheim, president of Cinedigm Entertainment Group and international distribution, said in a statement.

Cinedigm content deals for Bambu, include partnership with CITC to bring more than 500 hours of popular local content to Bambu, including “Nirvana in Fire,” the most popular show in China in 2015; documentary series “A Bite of China,” and “Journey to the West,” the most-watched show in Chinese television history, and “The Advisors Alliance” and “Diamond Lover”.

A partnership with Youku to distribute 30 original Chinese feature filmsin North America on all platforms, including Bambu, digital, physical DVD and Blu-ray Disc, and across all OTT platforms, with a primary focus on major streaming platforms and niche outlets.

Bambu further advances the Cinedigm’s strategy for the bilateral flow of content and OTT streaming networks between North America and China. Additionally, the Los Angeles-based distributor believes Bambu is an important vehicle to provide audience feedback to Chinese producers working to produce films and television for a global audience.

This direct consumer data should help better inform the development process in China about the categories of entertainment content, stories and character that appeal most to an American and eventually global audience, according to Sondheim.

“Cinedigm is focused on delivering TV shows and movies that convey the current modern Chinese lifestyle which will provide a window into the country’s personality and potentially help build greater trust and understanding between our countries at this pivotal time in the relationships development,” he said.

Cinedigm Will Launch Chinese Content Channel Bambu in First Quarter 2019

Cinedigm announced it will launch Bambu, its Chinese content entertainment channel, in the first quarter of 2019, unveiling the channel’s logo.

Bambu will be available as both a free, ad-supported service and an ad-free subscription-based service providing content for $3.99 a month.

“While the network will appeal to Americans of all ages, Bambu’s primary focus is on Gen Z viewers ages 16-24, and Millennial viewers ages 25-35,” according to the Cinedigm announcement. “These ‘digital natives’ have been exposed to global culture from an early age, and hunger to stay at the forefront to discover the latest global trends — as evidenced by the unparalleled rise of Anime and K-Pop in North America in recent years.”

These viewers represent more than 27 percent of the U.S. population, according to Cinedigm, and Bambu aims to provide Chinese entertainment previously unavailable to American audiences.

Curated offerings will span beyond martial arts and period epics to contemporary action epics, serial dramas, romantic comedies, sci-fi, horror, fantasy adventure sagas, music and reality series, and educational programming ranging from instructional Chinese language courses to cultural cooking shows, according to Cinedigm.

The company billed the site as “the only complete Chinese entertainment platform in the United States.”

Cinedigm will provide content for Bambu from licensor partners, as well as from Chinese licensors and distributors, according to the announcement. Content will potentially include hundreds of hours of first-run television programs, made available through Cinedigm’s partnership with state-run broadcaster Central China Television and others, the company announced. Select titles include the bomb squad thriller Shock Wave, starring Andy Lau; the sci-fi epic Kung Fu Traveler; and Donnie Yen and Chow Yun-Fat in the 2016 fable The Monkey King: Havoc in Heaven’s Palace. Bambu will also feature such series as the most watched show in Chinese TV history “Journey to the West”; “Nirvana in Fire”; the thriller “Lost in Translation”; the popular food/cooking documentary series “A Bite of China”; the fantasy crime show “The Four”; and new shows such as “The Advisors Alliance” and “Diamond Lover.”

“Young Americans are incredibly culturally savvy, and proudly receptive to the latest global trends,” said Erick Opeka, Cinedigm’s president of digital networks, in a statement. “Bambu allows these modern tastemakers to stay at the cultural forefront, introducing them to a roster of new series and up-and-coming artists that they can discover and show their friends. It also presents tremendous potential for substantial marketing opportunities, opening up China’s prolific and profitable content industry to a massive American audience. This is phase one in what we envision as a fruitful partnership between the United States and China, enriching both cultures by providing them with the absolute best in Chinese and American entertainment, respectively.”

“Bambu is another very important step in our bilateral content distribution strategy for China and North America,” said Bill Sondheim, president of Cinedigm Entertainment Group, in a statement. “We have made tremendous progress in that regard over the last year with the key Bison, Starrise and Youku agreements, as well as many other important content and distribution deals with key Chinese media companies either announced or in final stages. Bambu is the perfect vehicle to expose undiscovered quality film and TV content to North American audiences and provide vital feedback to Chinese producers, which should help them create Chinese content with the potential to be much more successful abroad.”

Bambu is “an important vehicle to provide immediate and invaluable” audience feedback to Chinese producers working to produce films and television for a global audience, according to Cinedigm, and the consumer data should help better inform the development process in China about the categories of entertainment content, stories and characters that appeal most to an American and eventually a global audience.