AVOD Service Crackle Plus Announces June Lineup

Crackle Plus, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company and operator of advertising-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) streaming services, announced content planned for June.

New Crackle AVOD Exclusives in June include:

  • “A Life In 10 Pictures #1 — Freddy Mercury,” in which Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen, one of the most iconic bands in rock and roll history, reveals his life in ten pictures, from iconic shots to private snaps;
  • “In the Vault — Season One,” in which freshman Liv Steele (Claudia Lee) arrives at Woodlawn College excited for a fresh start, but will her past catch up with her?; and
  • “Hollywood Bulldogs: The Rise and Falls of the Great British Stuntman,” which tells the story of the small community of British stunt performers who went on to dominate Hollywood in the 1970s and 1980s.

 

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

In addition to access to four seasons of “Sherlock,” Crackle Plus is offering new series from the BBC library every month. This month’s lineup includes:

  • “Ivanhoe,” a miniseries in which young Saxon knight returns to England from fighting in the Crusades to find he had been disinherited by his father, his childhood sweetheart has been betrothed to another man and the country is in the midst of an uprising;
  • “Jane Eyre,” a TV series about a young governess who falls in love with her brooding and complex master; and
  • Byron, a feature film about the famous poet starring Jonny Lee Miller.

 

New channels coming to Crackle in June include:

  • Celebrating Pride, including Wedding Wars (John Stamos, Eric Dane), Breakfast on Pluto (Cillian Murphy, Liam Neeson), the Crackle original reality series “Men of West Hollywood” (Justin Jedlica, Brennen Taylor) and Two Mothers for Zachary (Valerie Bertinelli, Vanessa Redgrave);
  • Prehistoric Beasts, featuring “Dinotopia” (Katie Carr, Wentworth Miller), The Lost World (Bob Hoskins, Peter Falk), Behemoth (Ed Quinn, Pascale Hutton) and Godzilla vs Destoroyah (Megumi Odaka, Yōko Ishino);
  • Ways of the West, featuring Western titles like “Bonanza” (Michael Landon, Dan Blocker), The Shadow Riders (Sam Elliott, Tom Selleck), “The Outcasts” (Otis Young, Don Murray) and The Man from Laramie (James Stewart, Cathy O’Donnell);
  • Crimes and Capers, featuring Law Abiding Citizen (Gerard Butler, Jamie Foxx), Killing Them Softly (Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini), American Animals (Evan Peters, Barry Keoghan) and Midnight Express (Brad Davis, John Hurt); and
  • The Sixties, featuring “The Flying Nun” (Sally Field, Alejandro Rey), To Sir, with Love (Sidney Poitier, Lulu), Under the Yum-Yum Tree (Jack Lemmon, Carol Lynley) and Bye Bye Birdie (Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret).

 

New to Crackle Spotlight in June are Harry Styles: Live in Manchester, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Peggy Sue Got Married, Edge of Tomorrow, Scream 4, the Canadian sketch comedy series “The Kids in the Hall,” the TV series “Hardcastle and McCormick,” Hannibal Rising, Judy (Renee Zellweger), Hunt for the Wilderpeople, The Man from Laramie and Behind the Moment.

The Crackle Plus streaming services are currently distributed through 70 touch points in the United States on platforms including Amazon FireTV, RokuTV, Apple TV, Smart TVs (Samsung, LG, Vizio), gaming consoles (PS4 and Xbox One), Plex, iOS and Android mobile devices and on desktops at Crackle.com, with previously announced plans to expand to over 90 touch points.

Crackle Plus Adds Five FAST Channels to Byron Allen’s Media Company

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment’s ad-supported video platform Crackle Plus May 24 announced plans to launch five FAST channels on Local Now, media entrepreneur Byron Allen’s free streaming platform for local news and entertainment. Crackle Plus FAST channels include Crackle, Crackle Classics, Popcornflix and Truli, a faith and family streaming service.

Original and exclusive programming from Crackle include the series “Taboo” and the feature film The Mercy; Crackle Classics’ film and TV series such as Laurel and Hardy and Little Rascals libraries; Popcornflix’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the two-part limited series Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island; a collection of female-led shows, including “Smart Home Nation” and “Mothers and Daughters”; and the family-friendly Bible series “The Chosen.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“Expanding our distribution with Local Now … reflects our commitment to providing consumers with high quality, entertaining content for free with the support of advertisers who can now reach a brand-new audience,” Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, said in a statement.

The Crackle Plus streaming services are currently distributed through 70 touchpoints in the U.S. on platforms, including Amazon FireTV, RokuTV, Apple TV, Smart TVs (Samsung, LG, Vizio), gaming consoles (PS4 and Xbox One), Plex, iOS and Android mobile devices and on desktops at Crackle.com. Crackle is also available in about 500,000 hotel rooms in the Marriott Bonvoy chain.

Crackle Plus’ recent releases include the exclusive scripted series “Les Norton,” which stars Alexander Bertram and Rebel Wilson, Tia Mowery’s “Comfort Kitchen,” suspense thriller “Blast,” “Inside the Black Box,” hosted by Joe Morton and the BBC series “Sherlock,” starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. Crackle also recently announced season three of Ashton Kutcher’s award-winning series “Going From Broke.”

Local Now offers more than 450 free streaming channels, including a Local Now channel in every DMA in the country, as well as more than 14,000 movies, TV shows, and documentaries. The Local Now app is available on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Xfinity, Vizio, Samsung, Android and iOS devices.

Analyst: New Redbox Owner Likely to Combine Digital Properties Under Redbox Banner

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment’s acquisition of Redbox Entertainment finds an established ad-supported streaming service, Crackle Plus, joining forces with Redbox TV, the venerable DVD kiosk rental brand’s upstart streaming video app.

Chicken Soup in 2019 acquired majority ownership in the erstwhile Sony Crackle streaming service from Sony Pictures Television. The company then bought out Sony’s remaining stake in 2020. As of January 2022, Crackle had about 40 million monthly active users.

Last July, Redbox TV reportedly had about 1 million monthly users since its 2020 launch, while the app has been downloaded more than 43 million times.

With Chicken Soup assuming the combined companies’ Wall Street name and ticker presence, Michael Pachter, media analyst with Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, believes the new owner will combine the companies’ digital properties under the Redbox banner, not Crackle.

Pachter speculates Redbox CEO Galen Smith will continue to run the company’s legacy kiosk business, which cites about 38,000 retail locations nationwide and 40 million loyalty customers.

“They probably want Galen to run the physical business, and they can use the [Redbox] digital channels to augment their other offerings,” Pachter said in an email. “I wouldn’t be surprised if they merge Crackle into Redbox and keep the Redbox name, but no idea right now what they are doing.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Chicken Soup for the Soul AVOD Streaming App Added to Vizio Service

The Chicken Soup for the Soul AVOD streaming service application has been added to the Vizio service, Crackle Plus, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company, announced.

The streaming service will offer three thousand hours of at launch, including exclusive programming from Chicken Soup for the Soul original series such as “Smart Home Nation.”

“Vizio is pleased to launch the Chicken Soup for the Soul app and offer our audience titles from such a beloved brand,” Katherine Pond, VP of business development for Vizio, said in a statement. “Bringing the feel-good content that Chicken Soup for the Soul is known for to Vizio audiences is another way that we can deliver on our promise to offer entertainment that viewers know and love.”

“We are excited to bring the Chicken Soup for the Soul AVOD service to millions of Vizio viewers,” Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, said in a statement. “We plan to provide a unique blend of entertainment from content and distribution partners who share our vision.”

The Chicken Soup for the Soul streaming service will provide entertainment stories that range from mysteries to miracles, comedy to true crime, the royal family to romcoms in the form of lifestyle programming, original scripted movies, Hollywood blockbusters and classic TV series, according to a Crackle Plus release.

Also now available on Chicken Soup for the Soul is programming from Kin, which has celebrity-driven lifestyle programming. It includes 18 exclusive episodes of “Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix,” and 12 episodes of “All Things Adrienne” (Adrienne Houghton) as well as other series with more fresh content arriving in the coming months.

Chicken Soup for the Soul originals and AVOD exclusives available at launch include:

  • “Smart Home Nation” (original), produced by Efran Films in association with Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment and Parkside Entertainment, and hosted by Tanya Memme, explores smart houses on planet Earth. From ‘A’-list mansions with security systems that can recognize your face from down the block to heated backyards that allow you to swim outside while it’s snowing, the series highlights experimental tech havens that would look right at home in “The Jetsons.”
  • Senior Moment (exclusive), a romantic comedy-drama film directed by Giorgio Serafini and starring William Shatner, Jean Smart and Christopher Lloyd. The film follows Victor Martin (Shatner), a retired NASA test pilot, after he loses his license from drag racing his vintage convertible around Palm Springs. Forced to take public transportation, he meets Caroline (Smart) and learns to navigate love and life again.
  • “Vacation Rental Potential” (original) follows designer and real estate expert Holly Baker as she explores beautiful vacation rental properties across the United States, helping clients maximize their earning potential.
  • Off the Rails (exclusive) is Kelly Preston’s final film, with Jenny Seagrove, Sally Philipps, Andrea Corr and Judi Dench about a group of 50-something women on a European vacation who have a change of itinerary when a teenager (Elizabeth Dormer-Phillips) joins their plans.
  • Hope Gap (exclusive), starring Annette Benning, Bill Nighy, and Josh O’Connor, follows two parents’ visit with their son that takes a dramatic turn when dad reveals he’s leaving his wife.
  • Thanks for the Memories (exclusive), a romantic comedy two-part limited series with Tamzin Merchant, Tom Wlaschiha, and Bekka Bowling, tells the tale of a woman (Merchant) who, after receiving a blood transfusion, finds she now has memories that aren’t her own.

 

“For years Chicken Soup for the Soul has been the go-to destination for those looking to find comfort, enlightenment, humor and inspiration,” Amy Newmark, author, editor-in-chief and publisher of the Chicken Soup for the Soul self-help book series, said in a statement. “With our new AVOD streaming service we are thrilled to now have a home for the exciting video content that we have been creating for years. We look forward to producing new series that will help us better serve our audience and change the world one story at a time.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The VOD app launch on Vizio follows Chicken Soup for the Soul’s recent FAST channel launches on Vizio’s free streaming service, WatchFree+, as well as Plex, FreeCast, Redbox, LG Channels, Stirr and Xumo.

Crackle Plus streaming services are currently distributed through 60 touch points in the United States, 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.

Upcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul AVOD Service Inks Content Deals

Crackle Plus, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment company and an operator of ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) networks, has inked two content deals for the upcoming launch of its ad-supported streaming service Chicken Soup for the Soul.

The company has signed agreements with entertainment company Kin, a leader in celebrity-driven lifestyle programming for diverse women’s audiences, and Reel One Entertainment, which specializes in scripted dramas, to deliver original exclusive programming to the streaming service.

Additionally, the upcoming streaming platform will exclusively feature Chicken Soup for the Soul Originals as well as content from the Sonar Library.

“When we planned the launch of the Chicken Soup for the Soul AVOD streaming service, we set the bar very high,” Jeff Meier, head of programming for Crackle Plus, said in a statement. “We’ve exceeded our own expectations and are excited to be launching with a robust slate that features lifestyle TV staples, fan-favorite personalities, and engaging movies and originals our target audience will be sure to love.”

Kin, a leader in celebrity-driven lifestyle programming appealing to young women of all backgrounds, will be providing hundreds of hours of lifestyle content on an AVOD exclusive basis including new original episodes of their series “Comfort Kitchen,” hosted by Tia Mowry (“Sister, Sister” and “Family Reunion”), who will take viewers into her kitchen, teaching them to make her favorite home-cooked recipes, with celebrity guests pitching in to chop, stir and taste.

“Tia Mowry’s ‘Comfort Kitchen’ is the perfect series to launch Kin’s partnership with Chicken Soup for the Soul,” Kin CEO Michael Wayne said in a statement. “The combination of a world-class talent like Tia and Kin’s premium lifestyle programming will help build meaningful audiences for Chicken Soup’s new AVOD offering.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Chicken Soup for the Soul will also feature original movies from Reel One Entertainment, a global distribution company that specializes in scripted dramatic content. The original titles will be released once per month and will be the first of a series of additional original scripted shows to be announced. Titles from Reel One Entertainment will include For the Love of Chocolate, Love Afloat, A Priceless Love, A Slice of Chicago Romance, Love for Starters, A Bouquet of Love, Love Map, A Snapshot of Forever, Love Amongst the Stars, The Beauty of Love, Love at the Ranch and Love in Full Swing.

“The team from Reel One is enthusiastic to be working with the Chicken Soup for the Soul streaming service,” Tom Berry, CEO of Reel One Entertainment, said in a statement. “Their vibrantly loyal audience is a perfect fit for the fun and romantic themes our titles will represent as original content on their network. We’re so excited to play a part in the historic launch of this entertainment destination.”

Also premiering on the streaming service will be the newest Chicken Soup for the Soul Original, “Smart Home Nation,” produced by Efran Films in association with Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment and Parkside Entertainment and hosted by Tanya Memme. Additionally, Chicken Soup for the Soul Originals — including “Hidden Heroes,” “Animal Tales,” “The New Americans,” “Project Dad,” and “Going From Broke,” executive produced with Ashton Kutcher — will be available exclusively on the streaming service.

The service will also offer classic series and movies from the Sonar library, such as Mothers and Daughters (Susan Sarandon, Sharon Stone, Courteney Cox, Christina Ricci, Selma Blair, Mira Sorvino), Morning Glory (Christopher Reeve, Deborah Raffin) and My Boyfriend’s Back (Sandy Duncan, Jill Eikenberry, Judith Light). This library came to the company through the acquisition of Sonar Entertainment in April 2021 and brought more than 1,400 hours of content composed of more than 600 titles with 268 Emmy and 16 Golden Globe wins.

Follow us on Instagram

“The programming coming from Kin, Reel One and our Sonar library are great examples of the type of content fans can expect to see on Chicken Soup for the Soul’s streaming service,” Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, said in a statement. “We’ve already started introducing the brand as a FAST channel and we’re launching a branded Chicken Soup ‘tray’ on Crackle, to give fans easy access to the content as it rolls out wide with additional partners over the next few months.”

The Chicken Soup for the Soul streaming service is currently available as a FAST channel on Plex, FreeCast, Redbox, LG Channels, Stirr, Xumo and Vizio’s free streaming service WatchFree+.

AVOD Distributor ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ Ups Q3 Revenue, Loss

Chicken Soup for the Soul, owner operator of ad-supported VOD platforms Crackle, Crackle Plus and Popcornflix, among others, reported a 50% increase in revenue for the third-quarter (ended Sept. 30) to $29.1 million, compared with revenue of $19.4 million during the previous-year period. The tally also marked a 31.6% improvement over the second quarter.

Net loss from operations increased more than 28% to $16.7 million, compared with a loss of $13 million a year earlier.

In the quarter, the distributor announced the initial launch of a branded Chicken Soup for the Soul ad-supported streaming video platform in select international markets.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“We are seeing momentum in our AVOD networks, highlighted by viewership growth at Crackle and strong growth at Popcornflix since our September relaunch,” CEO William Rouhana said in a statement.

Rouhana said the company continues to focus AVOD network distribution, in addition to expanding original, exclusive content and backend streaming tech assets.

“With the initial launch of our Chicken Soup for the Soul streaming service, as well overall ad impression growth at Crackle Plus, consolidation of our television production activities, Screen Media Ventures’ growing lineup of acquired films, and our recent international partnership and acquisition activity, we are poised to accelerate execution of our strategy into 2022,” Rouhana said.

Philo Adds Crackle, Bloomberg TV Content

Online TV serivce Philo April 20 announced it is adding ad-supported Crackle, owned and operated by Crackle Plus, to its platform. Philo is also adding Bloomberg TV and Revry. Bloomberg TV gives viewers live access to the latest news in business, markets and technology, and Revry brings the first global streaming network focused on the LGBTQ community.

“Philo offers affordable TV content to their fast growing audience and we are thrilled to give them full access to Crackle’s library of Hollywood blockbusters and classic TV shows, as well as a growing collection of original and exclusive content not available on any other platforms, such as ‘Going From Broke,’ which will launch a second season on May 20,” Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, said in a statement.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Philo’s subscription package includes more than 60 live channels and 60,000 current on-demand offerings for $20 per month. Earlier this month, Philo partnered with T-Mobile to offer Philo for $10 per month to all T-Mobile and Sprint postpaid subscribers.

“The addition of new content from Crackle, as well as Bloomberg TV and Revry, further highlights Philo’s commitment to provide our customers with the best TV viewing experience at a great value,” said Mike Keyserling, COO and head of content acquisition at Philo. “We’re glad to be able to add these incredible channels to our robust line-up of programming for Philo viewers.”

 

AVOD Crackle Bows on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex

Crackle Plus, one of the largest operators of streaming advertising-supported video-on-demand networks, April 14 announced the launch of the Crackle app on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex.

The move marks another step by legacy pay-TV operator Comcast to embrace competing content distribution models on its platform, beginning with Netflix and YouTube in 2016.

“Crackle is thrilled to bring Xfinity X1 and Flex customers Crackle’s extensive originals and exclusive series, as well as a growing library of movies, docu-series, sports content, and classic TV,” Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, said in a statement.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

With this launch, Xfinity subscribers can now enjoy the full Crackle experience, including a free library of studio film titles and classic TV series as well as a growing list of original and exclusive programming such as: “Playing With Power: The Nintendo Story,” “Insomnia,” “Black Water: Abyss,” “Lennox Lewis: The Untold Story,” “Robert the Bruce,” “Spides,” “Corporate Animals,” “Blue Iguana,” “Anything is Possible: The Serge Ibaka Story,” “Road to Race Day,” “On Point,” “Cleanin’ Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters,” “The Clearing,” “Yelawolf: A Slumerican Life” and “Going From Broke,” now in production for a second season.

In the coming weeks, X1 and Flex subs will also be able to find Crackle programming by saying the name of Crackle titles, such as “Playing With Power: The Nintendo Story” into the Xfinity Voice Remote. Additionally, they will soon be able to browse Crackle programming aggregated within collections as “Free to me,” “Top genres” and “What to Watch” right alongside all of the other programming available to them on X1 and Flex.

Crackle content is available in the U.S. on 29 devices and services, including Amazon Fire TV, Roku TV, 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 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.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“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 Ups Plex AVOD Deal With Direct Advertising Support

Crackle Plus, the ad-supported VOD platform, March 11 announced it has entered into an agreement with streaming media platform Plex to handle the service’s direct ad sales. The expanded relationship will allow the Crackle Plus ad sales team to market Plex to marketers and consumer brands in the U.S.

Plex and Crackle began working together in May 2020. This was followed by the launch of a Popcornflix VOD offering on Plex in November 2020 and the launch of the first linear channels from Crackle and Popcornflix in the U.S. in December 2020 and January 2021.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“With this strategic advertising relationship we are extending our successful content and distribution agreements to represent the entire Plex content offering to the advertising community,” Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, said in a statement.

Plex offers 160+ free-to-stream live-TV channels, as well as podcasts, Web shows, news and music. Content partners include  Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution, Lionsgate, and Legendary, as well as free-to-stream live-TV channels from AMC and A+E, among others.

Crackle Plus will use Plex’s content library to market specific and brand-safe packages for their advertising partners in the expanding AVOD market.

“Crackle Plus has been a valued partner in every part of our expansion into offering consumers great free-to-watch movies and TV shows,” said Shawn Eldridge, VP of strategic alliances at Plex. “Working with them for direct ad sales is a natural extension that will allow easier campaign planning for advertising partners.”