Cinedigm Narrows Q1 Loss, Ups DVD/Blu-ray Disc Billing 65%

Home entertainment distributor Cinedigm Aug. 14 announced a first-quarter (ended June 30) net loss of $3.4 million, down 35% from a net loss of $5.2 million during the previous-year period. Revenue declined 14% to $13.1 million from $15.2 million during the previous-year period.

The revenue decrease was partially offset by a 9% increase in content and entertainment revenue, which includes sales of packaged media such as DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

Cinedigm Entertainment Group closed a multi-year, multi-title distribution agreement with Nelvana, a Canadian animation company and global producer of children’s content. The agreement includes DVD and transactional VOD content rights to more than 3,000 television episodes featuring worldwide brands such as Franklin, Babar and Beyblade.

Indeed, DVD/Blu-ray Disc billings increased 65% in the quarter from the previous-year period, while digital billings increased 30%. Total over-the top video revenue (which includes Docurama, Dove Channel and CONtv) reached $2.2 million on 91,000 subscribers – the latter up 7% from last year.

“Despite the first fiscal quarter being a seasonally slow period for our business, our results clearly illustrate the progress we are making in the transformation of our business,” CFO Jeffrey Edell said in a statement.

CEO Chris McGurk said the company made three industry presentations at the Beijing Film Festival, in addition to announcing six new entertainment partnerships.

Cinedigm is majority owned by Bison Capital, a Chinese owned and Hong Kong-based investment company focusing on media and entertainment, healthcare and financial service industries.

“We made significant progress in our streaming OTT segment, where we generate sales through four revenue streams: subscription fees, advertising, servicing retainers and content distribution fees,” said McGurk. “We are encouraged by our progress as we continue to lead the way in this huge, fast-growing, high margin segment with a differentiated OTT business model.”

 

Cinedigm Inches Toward First Quarterly Profit

After myriad quarters of fiscal losses, home entertainment distributor and over-the-top video operator Cinedigm reported its first quarterly profit.

The distributor generated first-quarter (ended March 31) income of $46,000 on revenue of $17.6 million. That compared to a loss of $9.6 million and revenue of $19.5 million during the previous-year period.

Cinedigm said its content and entertainment business unit – which includes packaged media – decreased revenue 12% to $31.1 million from $34.2 million in fiscal 2018 during the previous-year period.

The company said the revenue decline was due to lower overall sales volumes for physical product and a change in the mix of content sold.

“Our traditional DVD and Blu-ray Disc business continues to be negatively impacted by changing consumer behaviors and digital market shift to more original productions has lowered demand for third party content,” Cinedigm said in a regulatory filing. “Our product mix has also shifted significantly toward licensed content in the current year.”

The decline in physical product sales was partially offset by a $700,000 increase in sales related to OTT channels (Dove Channel, Docurama and CONtv) and a slight increase in distribution related revenue.

“We plan on [OTT] becoming the biggest revenue contributor for the company, and [it] increased last year by 23% in aggregate, led by a 36% increase in OTT channel,” CFO Jeffrey Edell said on the fiscal call.

Meanwhile, net loss for the fiscal year increased 21.7% to $18.5 million from $15.5 million during the previous-year period. Revenue dropped 25% to $67.6 million from $90.3 million.

 

Cinedigm Bowing Female-Centric SVOD Service

Cinedigm is launching what it claims is the first-ever women’s lifestyle subscription video-on-demand service (SVOD). The platform is expected to launch in the fourth quarter with distribution plans for Web and mobile, including both iOS and Android platforms.

Cinedigm is partnering with Gatherer Entertainment, an entertainment hub dedicated to providing women in the 35-54 demo with curated content.

The channel will offer one-stop-shop of content touching all aspects of a woman’s life, with topics ranging from news, beauty and fashion, to midlife women’s health and wellness tips, food, wine and cooking profiles, financial insights and planning, crafty DIY, technology updates, travel expeditions, and everything in between.

Original scripted content will feature episodes with breaks perfectly suited to fit viewers’ fast-paced lifestyles, while unscripted series will present news and information uninterrupted in two-minute formats, hosted by reliable, experienced, relatable women.

Launched by CEO Jenna Segal in 2017, Gatherer Entertainment spent a year researching viewing patterns and listening to women discuss how, where and when they watch video content. With increasingly busy schedules, balancing lives both at home and in the workplace, women 35+ are leading the OTT charge, eschewing cable and satellite in favor of regularly streaming their favorite shows, according to Cinedigm.

Segal’s credits include producing Broadway show GIGI and off- Broadway production, What We’re Up Against, as well as Web series, “Black Dynamite,” and “Lady Parts.” Segal previously served as director of production management at Viacom, working with MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon and Nicktoons.

Gatherer’s management team also includes co-founder and CMO Heidi Packer Eskenazi, founder of boutique firm HAP Consulting; and head of strategy and operations, Eric Sherman.

“Jenna and Heidi are smart, passionate leaders with a fantastic vision for building a content-centric community, and we look forward to helping them bring it to fruition,” Erick Opeka, EVP of Cinedigm Networks, said in a statement.

This latest OTT venture marks Cinedigm’s ninth video channel. The home entertainment distributor currently operates martial arts platform Combat Go, Docurama, CONtv, eSports lifestyle network WHAM, Asian music and pop culture service, HallyPop, a Chinese entertainment channel, and family-focused Dove Channel and DoveKids.

 

Cinedigm Adds Dove Channel to Vizio Smart TVs

In a significant move, Cinedigm Feb. 14 announced it has licensed the Dove Channel, its digital-first family network, to select Vizio SmartCast and Vizio Internet Apps Plus devices.

Vizio television and related CE device users will now be able to access the Dove Channel app, which includes hundreds of hours of ad-supported programming.

In addition to subscription content, the Dove Channel encompasses three free, ad-supported, 24/7 linear networks offering a wide-array of entertainment.

The networks include DoveNow, which features movies and shows, DoveKids, which grants access to children’s animation and series programming, and Newsy, a 24/7 news and information network.

Vizio SmartCast users can also access Dove programming via the Vizio SmartCast Mobile app, which is free for iOS and Android users.

Vizio  Internet Apps Plus users can access the Dove Channel by selecting the app from the gallery on their Vizio TV.

“We are particularly excited to see the app available on Vizio [devices],” Erick Opeka, EVP of Cinedigm Networks, said in a statement. “This additional availability of the Dove Channel means more consumers will have access to our premium subscription offerings.”

 

Cinedigm Distributing OTT Channels on Vewd

Cinedigm Jan. 9 announced it will distribute subscription streaming channels (Dove Channel, CONtv, Docurama) through the Vewd App Store.

Vewd is OTT software with an install base of over 200 million devices, featuring over 1,500 entertaining apps optimized for Smart TVs, Blu-ray Disc players and set-top boxes from Samsung, Sony, Verizon and TiVo, among others.

To date, values-based Dove Channel, Comic-Con-themed CONtv and documentary-based Docurama have over 2.5 Million App downloads.

“Vewd’s extensive global footprint with dozens of key manufacturers helps us reach millions of devices quickly, efficiently, and easily,” Erick Opeka, EVP and GM of Cinedigm Networks, said in a statement.

The deal comes as Los Angeles-based Cinedigm expanded OTT offerings to Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast and Android TV.

These developments will expand the reach of Cinedigm channels to more than 320 million potential consumers in key OTT markets worldwide.

“Cinedigm has tailored their content to different audiences, introducing unique channels that focus on the strengths of their catalog. Together, we can bring significant scale and reach to these channels on a global basis,” said Daniel Nordberg, SVP of partnerships at Vewd.