Redbox Free Live TV Adds Crackle Content

Redbox May 27 announced it has teamed with Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment to add Crackle to its Redbox Free Live TV platform. At launch, the channel will feature programming such as “Cold Blood,” “Crown Vic,” “Grand Isle,” “Lennox Lewis: The Untold Story,” and “Playing With Power: The Nintendo Story,” among many other titles.

With nearly 100 channels, including three Redbox channels designed and programmed for movies, Free Live TV features a lineup of feature films and television, news, lifestyle, and sports entertainment programming. Free Live TV is available on Redbox.com, Roku, iOS and Android devices, Apple TV, Vizio Smart TVs, LG TVs, Xbox One and Chromecast.

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“The Crackle team is enthusiastic about partnering with Redbox, a brand that is so well known for convenient entertainment delivery,” Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, said in a statement. “This agreement adds an important new consumer touchpoint for Crackle Plus on a very important FAST platform.”

Redbox says it delivers entertainment to 40 million customers across multiple entertainment windows, including packaged-media distribution, premium video-on-demand (PVOD), transactional VOD, ad-supported linear and on-demand (AVOD).

“As we continue to expand Free Live TV, we’re committed to creating a great experience for our customers with a range of entertainment available across their favorite devices,” said Jason Kwong, chief strategy and digital officer for Redbox.

Crackle Plus Expands AVOD Rollout

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, one of the largest operators of ad-supported streaming video networks, March 22 reported that it has increased its distribution of branded Crackle Plus platform to 41 touchpoints, above its prior target, and now is expanding this initiative with plans to reach a total of 64 consumer touchpoints.

The Crackle Plus networks, including Crackle and Popcornflix, are available on a variety of platforms and services as both linear and VOD offerings. Crackle Plus networks are offer a wide selection of movies, TV series, and original and exclusive programming. Expansion of Crackle’s distribution is a key part of the company’s broader marketing strategy to drive more viewers to its original and exclusive content.

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“Our company has found that distribution has proven to drive increased viewership of our networks, and can bring up to hundreds of thousands of new viewers over time,” CEO William Rouhana said in a statement.

Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, said expanding consumer touchpoints makes it easier to growth average monthly users and awareness.

“Our aim is to make our free movie and TV content available to all viewers on all available platforms, including streaming devices, game consoles, connected TVs and FAST networks,” Guelton said. “As we add new distribution touchpoints and develop both new AVOD and linear channel offerings … we are capturing a growing audience of unique, hard-to-reach consumers for our advertising partners.”

Crackle Plus Original Series ‘Going From Broke’ Begins Second-Season Production

Ad-supported VOD service Crackle Plus Feb. 16 announced that production has begun on Season 2 of its original series “Going From Broke.” The series is executive produced by Ashton Kutcher and hosted by Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig. Episodes will begin streaming on Crackle in March.

Going From Broke is an unscripted series that spotlights the financial epidemic of student loan debt. More than 44 million Americans are saddled with student debt totaling over $1.7 trillion dollars. The situation has been compounded the COVID-19 pandemic, record unemployment, and people on the emotional and financial brink. This series aims to empower people to overcome their crippling financial struggles and become CEO of their own lives.

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The second season features an updated format that follows six new cast members from around the country. During the six-week production, Crackle will experiment by shooting and airing new episodes in real-time, while anchoring a larger conversation using social media platforms. The real-time episodes will document the casts’ emotional and financial makeovers. Meanwhile, Rosensweig, Kutcher and parent Crackle corporate parent Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment will engage in a multi-platform conversation about debt issues.

Going From Broke is the first makeover show that invites the audience to engage with the cast, financial experts and each other across social media while watching the process unfold live,” Kutcher said in a statement. The actor “”Two and a Half Men”) executive produced both season one and two of the series.

The production culminates with finished episodes in May, ultimately revealing whether each cast member has succeeded in ‘going from broke.’

“We plan to incorporate the particular hardships introduced by the global pandemic and hope we will be offering helpful solutions to any of those struggling with financial burdens,” said William J. Rouhana Jr., CEO of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment.

The first season of Going From Broke had a record-breaking launch on Crackle in October 2019, and won multiple awards, including the Webby People’s Voice winner for Reality Series and the OTT.X Impact Award for Most Impactful SeriesSeason one is available for free on Crackle.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment Acquires Full Ownership of Crackle Plus

Media company Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment Dec. 15 announced that it has acquired full ownership stake in Crackle Plus from co-owner Sony Pictures Television. The transaction come about when Sony exercised its option from a 2019 agreement to obtain $40 million of preferred stock in Chicken Soup in exchange for its stake in Crackle Plus. For the next 30 days, Chicken Soup has the right to pay Sony cash in lieu of some or all of the preferred stock. The company has already determined that it will give Sony some portion in preferred stock.

Sony Pictures acquired the service formerly called Grouper in 2006  and renamed the ad-supported streaming site Crackle. It was changed to Sony Crackle in 2018. Sony sold a majority stake in Crackle to Chicken Soup in March 2019, which renamed it Crackle.

“Sony has been an incredible partner for [us] and this transaction is the natural next step in our relationship,” CEO William Rouhana Jr. said in a statement. “We welcome Sony as a large shareholder and look forward to continuing to work closely with them.”

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Since acquiring Crackle, the Chicken Soup management has reduced the network’s cost structure, ramped up ad sales on its owned and operated networks and differentiated the network among other AVOD offerings (i.e. The Roku Channel, Pluto TV, Tubi, Shout! Factory TV, etc.) through its complement of original and exclusive content. The Crackle Plus pipeline now comprises more than 10,800 movies and 22,000 television episodes available for its AVOD networks.

Crackle+ AVOD Service Announces Original Lennox Lewis Boxing Doc

Crackle Plus, the ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) service owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Oct. 6 announced the premiere of original documentary Lennox Lewis: The Untold Story, launching on Oct. 15.

The doc follows the three-time world heavyweight boxing champion as he defied the odds on an inspiring journey to become one of the most decorated boxers in history. Narrated by Dr. Dre, the documentary features never-before-seen footage from Lewis’ personal archives, extensive interviews with Lewis and some of his greatest competitors, including Mike Tyson, George Foreman and Evander Holyfield.

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“We know our audience will appreciate Lennox’s passion and determination to overcome the obstacles he’s faced and reach his dreams both in and out of the ring,” Richard De Croce, SVP of programming at Crackle Plus, said in a statement.

Other original titles found on Crackle include Spides, Corporate Animals, Blue Iguana, Anything is PossibleThe Serge Ibaka StoryRoad to Race Day, On PointCleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters, The Clearing, “Yelawolf: A Slumerican Life,” and “Going From Broke,” recently picked up for a second season.

From a modest and challenging upbringing to an Olympic Gold medal and reign as undisputed heavyweight champion, Lewis’ story is one of redemption and forgiveness and the perseverance and strength needed to overcome obstacles. The doc is written by Josh Dubin and Seth Koch, and produced by Rick Lazes, Nick Koshoff and Tom DeNucci.

“The documentary delivers a powerful message and I am so glad we were able to tell this story,” said Lewis. “For anyone watching who feels they can’t make it in life, I am proof that you can.” 

Crackle is available in the U.S. and can be accessed on 26 devices and services including Amazon FireTV, RokuTV, Apple TV, Smart TVs (Samsung, LG, Vizio), gaming consoles (PS4 and XBoxOne), Plex, iOS and Android mobile devices and on desktops at Crackle.com. Crackle is also available in approximately 500,000 hotel rooms in the Marriott Bonvoy chain.

Crackle Plus Launching Music Channel Featuring Festivals, Concerts

Crackle Plus, the ad-supported VOD platform owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, June 17 announced that its Sounds of Summer Channel is launching July 1.

The channel will feature a wide selection of music documentaries and concert films from artists such as Katy Perry, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Tom Petty, among others. Many of the docs are directed by Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated filmmakers such as Peter Bogdanovich, Jonathan Demme and Maureen Goldthorpe.

With music festivals and concert series in the U.S. postponed or canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Crackle is offering classic concert tours, including Katy Perry: Part of Me; Lady Gaga’s Secret World; Rihanna: Good Girl, Bad Girl; Beyoncé: Baby and Beyond; Neil Young: Heart of Gold; and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: Runnin’ Down a Dream.

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Docs include:

  • American Rap Stars — featuring Snoop Dogg, Run DMC, Russell Simmons, Ludacris, Jay-Z, Onyx, Jermaine Dupri, Jamie Foxx, Talib Kweli and Cedric the Entertainer;
  • Rap Sheet: Hip-Hop and the Cops — featuring Snoop, Kanye, Busta Rhymes, Rusell Simmons, Suge Knight, The Game, Fat Joe, Irv, Jadakiss, Freeway, Cam’ron, Ja Rule and Jim Jones;
  • American Hardcore: The History of American Punk Rock 1980–1986;
  • Liam Gallagher: As It Was (a Crackle exclusive);
  • Sound City;
  • All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records;
  • Above Ground Level: Dubfire;
  • David Bromberg: Unsung Treasure;
  • Yelawolf: A Slumerican Life (a Crackle original series)

 

“When concerts and festivals are otherwise cancelled or worrisome to attend, we’re thrilled to bring footage of some of the most influential musicians of all time right into the living rooms of our viewers,” Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, said in a statement. “We know that our audience wants to see their favorite artists, and Crackle is working to make it happen.”

Sounds of Summer Channel is the latest content platform from Crackle following the recent addition of the Homeschool Channel launched during the pandemic for parents at home in need of educational content.

Crackle is free to use and is available on Amazon FireTV, RokuTV, and devices, Apple TV, most Smart TVs (Samsung, LG, Vizeo), Gaming Consoles (PS4 and XBoxOne), on PLEX, on iOS and Android mobile devices and on desktop at Crackle.com.

Crackle Joins Plex Streaming Video Platform

Crackle, the ad-supported joint venture between Sony Pictures Television and Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, has joined Plex, a global streaming media platform.

Plex users will now have access to Crackle’s original content, including the recently released “On Point,” the docuseries following three high school players as they move through the AAU basketball tournaments and shoot for an enviable career in the NBA; “Yelawolf: A Slumerican Life,” and the zombie action film, “The Clearing,” starring Liam MacIntyre (“Spartacus”).

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In addition to Crackle Originals, the library of content includes Chicken Soup for the Soul’s “Hidden Heroes” and “Everyday Edisons.”

“Plex has a passionate community of users and we are excited to give them full access to Crackle’s library of free movies and TV shows, including a growing number of Originals and Exclusives not available on other AVOD platforms,” Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, which majority-owns Crackle.

The Crackle content joins already available titles from Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, Lionsgate, and Legendary.

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Crackle Gets Exclusive Access to ‘Everyday Edisons’

Crackle, the former Sony ad-supported VOD service now owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (CSSE), has inked a distribution deal with Edison Nation for the fifth season of the Emmy Award–winning series “Everyday Edisons,” which will debut exclusively on Crackle in March.

The original four season of the series ran on PBS beginning in 2006. Featuring real inventors, the reboot includes eight new episodes, four judges and 24 new inventors. The show connects inventors with a team of mentors who provide advice in advance of their pitch before a panel of judges.

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Bringing the series back are Chris Ferguson, CEO of Edison Nation, Michael Cable, original series producer and winner of 23 Emmy Awards — including one for Outstanding Educational / Informational Program for “Everyday Edisons” — and Louis Foreman, CEO of Eventys Partners and original series co- creator.

“With its tremendous audience reach and reputation for original inspirational reality programming such as “Going from Broke” and “On Point,” Crackle is the perfect home for Everyday Edisons,” Ferguson said in a statement.

On the show, inventors gain insight on how extraordinary ideas are taken from, for example, a sketch on a napkin to a store shelf. Each episode features three inventors, each of whom has been coached by mentors, including 2019 PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte.

The mentors offer expert advice and help the inventors refine their pitch before presenting their unique idea to a panel of respected industry professionals. The panel includes Foreman, Ferguson, and Kelly Bagla, CEO of Go Legal Yourself, as lead judges.

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A fourth guest judge will appear in each of the episodes, including the following:

Lily Winnail — Winnail is a mompreneur, CEO and found of Padalily
Brian Fried — A successful inventor himself, Fried mentors and represents “Individual Inventors” to “Celebrities” at all stages of the invention process and is known as the Inventor Coach.
Tiffany Norwood — Norwood is a serial entrepreneur, global speaker and inventor who raised $670 million to fund WorldSpace, the first ever global digital satellite radio start-up.
Fred Cary — Cary is a senior executive, strategic consultant, attorney and investment banker. He is also the co-founder of IdeaPros.
Howie Busch — Serial Inventor and Founder of DudeRobe (as seen on Shark Tank).

One winner will be announced at the end of each episode. This inventor will receive a monetary prize of $5,000 plus a chance to work with Edison Nation to bring their product to market.

“When ‘Everyday Edisons’ first premiered in 2006, there was no other program like it,” said Michael Cable, show producer. “It is the original ‘pitch’ program and has launched many successful inventions.”

The new season will showcase various products ranging from new oral care products for individuals with disabilities to innovative new shovels, blow dryer accessories, 3-dimensional playing cards, and customizable blankets, among others.

Season 4 of “Everyday Edisons” is available for free on Crackle starting today.

‘Chicken Soup’ Ups Q3 Fiscal Revenue, Loss

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment dramatically upped its profile earlier this year when it acquired majority ownership of ad-supported streaming service Sony Crackle from Sony Pictures Television.

The company said the acquisition increased third-quarter (ended Sept. 30) revenue 157% to $17 million from $6.6 million in the previous-year period. It also ballooned the company’s net loss to $13.3 million compared to a net loss of $200,000 in the year-ago period and a net income of $200,000 million before preferred dividends.

Online networks, which includes Crackle, Popcornflix and Pivotshare, generated $14.4 million in revenue compared to $1.8 million in the year-ago period.

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The quarterly operating loss reflected certain non-cash or one-time expenses, including $4.7 million in non-cash amortization, $1.6 million of transitional expenses related to the Crackle Plus joint venture, and $1.2 million in film library amortization.

CSSE noted that if the aforementioned expenses were excluded from SG&A or cost of revenue, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment  would have reported a quarterly operating loss of $2.1 million.

“Our record third quarter results show the early promise of our transformation of our company into a leading AVOD network operator,” CEO William J. Rouhana Jr., said in a statement. “Crackle Plus is performing as expected, and our new original series ‘Going From Broke’ provides initial evidence of our growing network reach and engagement potential.”

The Ashton Kutcher-produced series has generated more than 5 millions views since launching on Oct. 17.

Rouhana said the company is “reinventing” its distribution and production business to focus on “innovative” studio launches, library content acquisitions and sponsor-funded original productions.

“We already see significant positive business momentum in the fourth quarter, where we expect to see a combination of all our primary strategic pieces in place for the first time, setting the stage for potentially significant growth in 2020,” he said.

Crackle Plus Original Series ‘Going From Broke’ Generates 1 Million Views in Five Days

Ad-supported VOD service Crackle Plus Oct. 24 announced that its original series “Going From Broke,” from executive producer Ashton Kutcher, generated 1 million views during its first five days on the platform.

Crackle was acquired last year from Sony by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, a publicly-traded media company.

The series, which debuted on Oct. 17, puts a spotlight on the epidemic of student loan debt. According to reports, more than 44 million Americans collectively owe $1.5 trillion on their federal student loans — a tally second only to mortgage debt in America.

Upon graduation, the series contends those entering the professional world face mounds of bills, a shrinking pool of employment opportunities, a lack of financial skills and a constant, crippling weight of bills keeping them from reaching for their dreams.

“The series is incredibly relevant and relatable and has clearly resonated with our millennial consumers,” Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, said in a statement.

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In the series, Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig and financial expert Danetha Doe go one on one with young people living in pricey Los Angeles to change their spending habits and gain financial confidence and become CEO of their own lives.

“It’s clear, based on the incredible engagement with the show, that there is a strong need for content and support around personal finance,” Rosensweig said.

Crackle is available on all top streaming platforms, connected TVs, game consoles, Crackle mobile apps (iOS, Android) and at Crackle.com.