OTT.X Summit Speakers Talk FAST (Free, Ad-Supported Television)

Free, ad-supported television dominated the discussion during the OTT.X summit’s opening-day keynote panel.

Known by the acronym FAST, the market certainly is in growth mode. Media heavyweights ViacomCBS and Comcast Corp. have acquired Pluto TV and Xumo, respectively, while Comcast’s much-ballyhooed Peacock streaming service also will have a free, ad-supported component.

And as Media Play News reported earlier this week, new data from eMarketer suggests AVOD revenue will grow more than 25% this year compared with 2019.

The AVOD market — spearheaded by The Roku Channel, Disney-owned Hulu, Peacock, Redbox TV, Amazon’s IMDb TV, Pluto TV and Fox Corp.’s Tubi — saw ad revenue skyrocket 31% to $849 million in the most-recent quarter, according to MoffettNathanson Research.

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“It’s something I’m really excited about — this is the thing that’s really hot,” moderator David Bloom, a tech journalist and consultant, said during the panel on Sept. 1. (The OTT.X summit continues through Sept. 3; click here to register.)

Anthony Layser, VP of content partnerships at Xumo, agreed.

“Things have changed so quickly over the last couple of years,” he said. “I joined Xumo in 2017 and I think at first there were some things that felt a little bit like a gimmick — you’re starting to string together types of content into a linear experience.

“And then I really got a sense, after a few months in, that what’s old is new again. People don’t necessarily want to spend all night searching through box art; they may be interested in a very specific series they are comfortable with — maybe it’s nostalgia, maybe it’s lifestyle.”

The FAST market, he said, “is always changing and it’s exciting to come to work every day and look at data and say, ‘Wow, look at how this piece of content we licensed years ago is taking off.’”

Erick Opeka, president of Cinedigm Networks, said his company over the past 18 months has sought to build “a nice portfolio of premium FAST and AVOD services to complement our four niche subscription services we still operate.”

“We got out of the real heavy, direct-to-consumer side,” he said, “and now focus on what I call the classic model of third-party distribution. You get a lot of bang for your buck — you don’t have to spend a lot of money on marketing, and you can focus all your energy on content spend and everyone else handles all the rest. So it’s a good model. Where we really thought the growth for us was going to come was in the ad-supported space.”

Advertising spending, he said, is “completely disconnected from the consumption right now. If you look at the data coming out of Samsung, where 55% of all consumption on smart TVs is not with traditional environments — the trend is not going to reverse; it’s not going to suddenly swing back the other way, especially given that 265 million sets are sold annually that have linear and VOD baked in, not to mention hundreds of thousands of apps.”

With FAST, Opeka said, “consumers love the choice, they love getting tons of entertainment for free that they don’t have to pay for. A couple of years ago, Pluto really educated all of us. … People mistake linear being dead for pre-programmed, tuned-in being dead. But I think there’s a very different piece here. Leanback is not dead. There’s a real specific use case for a big chunk of the week where you don’t have a lot of time and don’t want to spend 30 minutes digging through thousands of titles or hoping the algorithm finds you. You just want something on while you’re having leftovers. What we’re really talking about is hand-curated, passive, feed-my-eyes, against active, algorithm-driven recommendations. There’s a place in the world for both.”

Tedd Cittadine, VP of content distribution at Roku, said, “There’s no secret we’re really excited and optimistic about the AVOD business in general. We started just over three years ago with the Roku Channel, and the reason we launched it is because our consumers were disproportionately searching for free content. We knew there was pent-up demand for it. And we’ve seen significant growth — it’s been growing faster than the platform as a whole.”

He noted that the “AVOD landscape has changed significantly” over the past few years. “It’s gone from many startup independents to Roku, CBS, Fox, Amazon, YouTube, Comcast”

He noted that as the business becomes increasingly competitive, there are “three key things that drive success.” One is access to a “huge audience.” “It’s incredibly expensive to acquire consumers,” he said. “If you don’t have that huge installed base you can market to and deliver your content to, it can be very challenging to build that audience.” Second is having a “one-to-one, proprietary relationship with data for consumers, and having access to that data to make your advertising more effective.” And the third, he said, is having a “large and successful, well-funded direct ad sales organization to take advantage of monetization opportunities.”

Also speaking on the panel was Andrea Clarke-Hall, VP of business development at Tubi, acquired by Fox in April. “If you take COVID and add an acquisition, it makes for interesting times,” she said. “But it has been awesome. It’s still very early days, but it seems to be a really great partnership. Fox has given Tubi tremendous autonomy, and I think what we’ve seen is continued announcements every week about leveraging Fox ownership to bring better and better content to Tubi.”

Cameron Douglas, VP of home entertainment for Fandango, gave a nod to the transactional side of the business, noting that stay-at-home orders, and the movie theater shutdown, during the coronavirus pandemic has given the business a boost.

“You feel like the last few months have brought transactional back,” he said. “People have discovered there’s new content, movies you might not have ever seen — like The Tax Collector, which has been No. 1 on our service for the last couple of weeks.”

Cinedigm Expands Linear/VOD Streaming Channels on Sony PlayStation, Android TV, Mobile Devices

Cinedigm Aug. 3 announced it has partnered with Littlstar to distribute its portfolio of linear and video-on-demand channels. Littlstar is a provider of film and television content to the gaming ecosystem, including Sony PlayStation, Android TV and related mobile devices.

Littlstar currently works with Discovery, Viacom, Showtime and Universal and is financially backed by A&E, Sony, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner, WWE and Warner Bros., among others.

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“Cinedigm is on the pulse of what next generation viewers want, and we’re looking forward to innovating together with them to bring cutting edge content to new audiences,” Littlestar CEO Tony Mugavero said in a statement.

Littlstar will launch a selection of the Cinedigm streaming channels, including: The Bob Ross Channel, Comedy Dynamics, Chinese entertainment themed Bambu, Docurama, CONtv, Dove Channel, CONtv Anime, Whistle TV, horror-based Bloody Disgusting, So… Drama, featuring British and Australian dramas & mysteries, and So… Real, offering British non-fiction and reality TV series.

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“Our goal is to partner with companies that can help us reach new, highly engaged audiences,” said Erick Opeka, president of Cinedigm Networks. “Littlstar helps us reach the hundreds of millions of global viewers that use their gaming consoles to stream entertainment, on top of widespread footprint on mobile and connected televisions. Cinedigm will now reach more than three quarters of a billion devices globally.”

Cinedigm: OTT/Streaming Revenue Up 31%; COVID-19 Drops FY 2020 Revenue 27%,

Home entertainment/over-the-top video distributor Cinedigm July 6 reported that it narrowed its fiscal-year 2020 (ended March 31) net loss 10% to $14.7 million, from $15.9 million in FY 2019. Revenue dropped 27% to $39.2 million, from $53.5 million, largely due to the shutdown of the theatrical business. Cinedigm attributed the revenue decline to its digital projection business.

Meanwhile, streaming revenue increased 59% year-over-year, primarily driven by 466% growth in ad-supported linear television and ad-supported video on demand (AVOD) ad revenue growth. Total streaming-related revenue increased 31% year-over-year, with total sales of $24.4 million. Streaming-related billings now represent more than half of Cinedigm’s entertainment business.

“Clearly, we have made remarkable progress as an OTT/Streaming company over the last year, including achieving profitability in our core business in this fourth quarter by increasing [pre-tax earnings] by $3.5 million or 125% over last year,” CEO Chris McGurk said in a statement.

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McGurk said the distributor now markets a 16-channel OTT portfolio to include about 670 million global devices from more than 40 distribution partners worldwide.

“We grew ad-supported viewers on connected TV’s from zero to 13.2 million in 15 months, almost tripling viewers in just the last 7 months prior to May 31,” he said.

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“We are rapidly scaling up our streaming business to capitalize on the ongoing and permanent [pay-TV] cord-cutting shift towards OTT entertainment,” McGurk said. “Heavy streaming adoption rates, particularly for free, ad-supported linear channels, continue to dramatically accelerate.”

Erick Opeka, president of Cinedigm Digital Networks, said the company’s revised model is driven by signing and launching new channels, increasing distribution footprint, growing viewership, and achieving monetization with scale partners.

“Our focus on these four key areas can be reflected in our results and our deals with the best companies in the industry,” Opeka said. “Given this, Cinedigm has enormous prospects for growth in the coming fiscal year.”

Cinedigm also strengthened its balance sheet with the addition of a 26% ownership interest in China’s Starrise and $15.5 million debt reduction.

“Reducing this debt decreased our interest expense by $3 million annually,” said COO Gary Loffredo.

Cinedigm, SPI International Partner to Distribute Gametoon and FashionBox HD Channels

Cinedigm June 11 announced a partnership with media company SPI International to launch two new ad-supported streaming channels, Gametoon and FashionBox HD. Cinedigm will launch and distribute the AVOD platforms in North America and will work with SPI on marketing, audience development and monetization of the channels.

SPI International operates 42 TV channels with more than 65 million subscribers on six continents and is one of the largest aggregators of native Ultra HD content in the world.

Cinedigm’s distribution footprint includes more than 300 million devices across connected televisions, set-top-boxes, mobile & handheld devices, and online TV services.

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FashionBox HD is devoted to the fashion-focused lifestyle. The content lineup includes entertaining and educational explorations of the industry’s hottest trends, as well as in-depth fashion show coverage, behind-the-scenes tours of groundbreaking catwalks from across the globe and revealing interviews with the industry’s top designers.

Gametoon features TV programming geared toward video gaming and e-sports enthusiasts. Content includes game reviews, e-sports tournaments, and exclusive game walkthroughs and sessions from popular streamers with a large fanbase, such as Dan Gheesling, Bifuteki, Lothar and many more.

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With this agreement, Cinedigm Digital Networks now has access to SPI International’s partnerships with major license suppliers, and extensive library of popular, recognizable, and compelling programming.

“SPI International has built an impressive footprint of channels and content that delights tens of millions of users around the world,”  Erick Opeka, president of Cinedigm Digital Networks, said in a statement.

Opeka said the addition of Gametoon and FashionBox HD would help Cinedigm reach two key demographics within its portfolio of digital networks.

“We look forward to building upon the success that these properties have achieved, as we continue our commitment to delivering high-quality ad-supported programming to viewers in North America and around the world,” he said.

EMA Sets Dates, Location for 2nd Annual OTT Confab, Announces Biweekly Webinar Series

The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) has announced preliminary plans for the second annual OTT_X Market and Conference.

The home entertainment trade group also announced a biweekly webinar series, beginning next year, that will give member companies the chance to present thought leadership and showcase their products

The 2020 OTT_X Market and Conference will be held at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles on  July 21 and 22. The centrally located facility has been home to EMA’s OTT_X (formerly Digital Media) Pipeline for the past decade. The OTT_X Market and Conference will expand to include two full days of conference sessions  as well as specialized tracks of breakouts and work groups.  A themed “show floor” will be added, providing space for organizations interested in acquiring content (retailers/channels/platforms) to meet with those looking to license their content (studios/networks/aggregators) as well as technology and service providers.  Private meeting rooms will be available as well.

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Another new element will be the Partner Showcase, where content providers and technology and service providers can present or demonstrate their offerings. The event also will offer networking opportunities at breakfast and lunch functions and at the Industry Cocktail Party.

“This is the perfect venue to enable all aspects of OTT_X including business exchange, education, knowledge sharing, networking and advancing cross-industry initiatives,” said Mark Fisher, EMA’s president and CEO.  “Both casual meetings and private meetings are comfortably accommodated, and the venue is perfect to host our main conference program, our breakouts, and our show floor.”

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“The OTT_X conference is one of the premier digital events in our industry, offering invaluable resources to seasoned professionals and newcomers alike,” added Erick Opeka, president of Digital Networks at Cinedigm and the Conference Chair.

The webinar series begins Jan. 15. All EMA member companies are invited to propose a topic, along with an outline, for presentation in this webinar series.  Once approved, the presenting company will select from the calendar of dates available.  Presentations will take place on the first and third Wednesday of every month at 1 p.m. Pacific Time and will be scheduled for one hour.

Submissions can be made, starting on Dec. 16, to Mark Fisher at mfisher@entmerch.org.

Cinedigm Promotes Tony Huidor

Cinedigm Sept. 4 announced the promotion of Tony Huidor to SVP of products and technology, as well as GM of digital networks.

With more than 25 years of experience within the entertainment industry focused on new media, Huidor has served as VP of digital operations at Cinedigm for the past five years.

“Tony has been instrumental in growing and shaping Cinedigm’s digital business, as well as the driving force in the creation and development of the company’s flagship digital distribution platform, Matchpoint,” Erick Opeka, president of Digital Networks, said in a statement.

Tony Huidor

In his new role, Huidor is responsible for managing product development across all consumer-facing mobile, web, set-top and Connected TV applications that power the company’s numerous ad-supported and subscription-based video streaming services.

In addition, he is tasked with developing and implementing enterprise-level platforms and systems designed to streamline and scale the business while reducing the costs related to the production, optimization and distribution of all digital content and assets required by these OTT services.

In his role as GM, Huidor will oversee and manage overall operations of the company’s various owned & operated channels and services as well as expanding its licensed video channels and services business. In addition, he will continue to drive further adoption of Cinedigm’s Matchpoint platform through a variety of strategic new partnerships and licensing agreements.

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Huidor has worked in various executive roles within the music and movie industry overseeing digital production across a variety of product types including music, video, mobile apps, games and other content production; he brings extensive understanding of the special considerations and requirements for creating and developing content for emerging platforms.

Previous to joining Cinedigm, Huidor served as VP of Technical Product Development for Universal Music Group Distribution, as well as Vice President of Product Development & Operations for Universal Music Group.

Prior to working for Universal Music Group, he served as Director of Product Development for the Walt Disney Internet Group where he oversaw and led all mobile content production worldwide. Before arriving at Disney, he worked for the online unit of E! Entertainment Television and began his career at Philips Interactive Media, the multimedia arm of consumer electronics giant Philips Electronics, where he led development and production of dozens of games and interactive entertainment titles.

EMA Event Spotlights Digital Delivery

The over-the-top market is exploding, and the Entertainment Merchants Association this year at its annual Los Angeles conference gave it a starring role.

The OTT_X conference, focusing on the OTT market, ran July 16-17 concurrent with the eighth annual Los Angeles Entertainment Summit presented by the EMA. In addition to OTT panels and spotlight presentations, the EMA facilitated OTT business meetings in addition to meetings scheduled for LAES participants. The joint event attracted about 400 attendees.

The new focus is part of a bigger shift for the EMA.

“It was really apparent last year that the event needed to change,” said EMA CEO and president Mark Fisher July 16 in opening remarks, adding “as the industry changes so does the EMA.”

“We’ve intentionally shed our support and income from the video game segment,” he said, to be more focused. The organization has also shed physical retail members and distributors.

“It’s a pivot,” he said, but “we’re not going to leave behind the TVOD space.”

A leader in that transactional VOD market, FandangoNow chief Cameron Douglas, also chair of the EMA board, noted the annual confab “used to be an event with meetings between retailers and studios.”

Now, the EMA, via its Ultimate Movie Weekend promotion, is promoting cooperation between studios and digital retailers.

“Who would have thought there would be a major studio backed campaign — except Fox and Disney — that was focused on rental instead of EST,” Douglas said.

Erick Opeka, president of Cinedigm Digital Networks and chair of the OTT_X  conference, explained the name in opening remarks.

“The X in the name really reflects the core mission of why we’re all here today,” he said. “It’s an exchange. First and foremost, it’s an exchange of ideas.”

Such collaboration is crucial in an era of fast digital disruption.

“These changes are happening so frequently and at such a precipitous pace, the only way we can come out of this is by fostering a community,” he said.

Key challenges for OTT video platforms are customer acquisition and retention, monetization and content discovery, according to speakers at OTT_X.

Having original content is one way OTT platforms are meeting these challenges, said presenter Kathi Chandler-Payatt, executive director and entertainment analyst, The NPD Group. Using Netflix Originals as a case study, she noted that while both original movies and episodic shows are a small percentage of content on Netflix, they garner an outsized share of viewing. Originals made up 16% of new seasons vs. licensed in 2019, but those originals garnered a prodigious 24% of minutes watched. The same holds true for original movies, which are 11% of content and 22% of minutes.

Part of the reason for the uptake of originals is preferential marketing, she noted.

“It’s very smart from a platform perspective to push originals,” she said because the platform owns it. Thus, making a show with Netflix may give content producers a leg up in discovery.

“People think content is king, but discovery is king,” she said.

Originals have a short window to prove themselves, she said. She quoted Netflix VP of originals Cindy Holland as saying that the service generally knows within 28 days whether a new show or season meets Netflix’s expectations in terms of audience reach. In addition to viewership during that period, metrics such as season completion also figure in renewal.

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OTT_X event chair Opeka moderated the panel “Monetization Trends in OTT.” Ad-supported VOD streaming services, such as Xumo, whose CEO Colin Petrie-Norris was on the panel, are ascendant, many speakers noted. Xumo has 160 curated channels and 40 million households in the United States, Petrie-Norris said.

AVOD “can generate very high yield per consumer” with advertising, he said.

Tubi chief content officer Adam Lewinson also cited the growth of AVOD in a keynote presentatoin. AVOD aggregator Tubi has 20 million monthly active users, with 100 million minutes streamed in June and well over 15,000 titles or 44,000 hours of content, “more than double the content volume of Netflix,” he said. June yielded its largest revenue month ever, he said.

“AVOD is for real,” he said.

There are challenges, however.

“The biggest challenge in streaming right now … in all VODs, it’s really about customer acquisition, retention and churn,” he said. “A subset to that is content discovery. Once you crack those problems, that’s when you get to scale.”

A seamless experience on the platform is also “incredibly important,” he said, “just having a seamless experience where the tech fades away.”

“You also want to be ubiquitious,” he said. “You do want to be everywhere that people are streaming.”

Tubi has also employed machine learning in its proprietary content personalization engine.

“The more data that we have on our viewers the more we are able to personalize,” he said.

A key advantage to AVOD is the “barrier to entry is so low” because viewers don’t have to pay, he said.

As for Tubi getting into original programming like its paid SVOD counterparts, “we have no intention of going down that road,” he said. “It’s tremendously competitive. You wind up overpaying for content.”

There is already too much content, he noted.

“Original series are just whizzing by at an epic pace,” he said.

That doesn’t mean Tubi isn’t willing to spend on content.

“I have a nine-figure content budget for the year, and we’re spending it,” he said.

On a panel about windowing of content, Paul Colichman, CEO of Here Media, said he was “worried that [AVOD is] the emperor’s new clothes,” a false hope of a monetary savior, noting the amount of revenue that trickles down to content producers who license their titles to such services is small.

Still, competition from increased content is pushing content owners to find new outlets.

“It used to take years for us to put up content on AVOD,” said Cinedigm’s Natasha Pietruschka, adding that now, “Where else can we fill those revenue gaps?”

Transactional digital retailers took the stage during the LAES session. Panelists noted that since consumers are paying directly for content, whether for rental or purchase, the key concern for TVOD platforms is making that experience seamless and easy and the quality top notch.

“The bar is so high because you have paid specifically for that title whether rental or purchase,” said FandangoNow’s Douglas, who was on the transactional panel. “It better play.”

He said FandangoNow has concentrated on making the viewing experience top-quality with extensive 4K offerings and a living room app that rivals any.

While Redbox has made its name on physical disc rentals, Chris Yates, GM of Redbox On Demand, said the new digital sales and rental arm doesn’t cannibalize that core business, it supplements it. It offers a choice when consumers don’t want to go to a kiosk and has resulted in “improved affinity for our brand,” he said.

Speakers at both events discussed the looming launch of new SVOD services, including Walt Disney Co.’s $6.99 Disney+.

Disney is “out in front of the others,” said IHS Markit’s Sarah Henschel during a research presentation. Awareness of the service jumped from 24% in Q1 to 35% in Q2 even before the Disney marketing machine really gets rolling, she said.

The firm expects upcoming services to add 36.7 million paying domestic subs by 2023.

“I think Disney and Apple [with its pending SVOD service Apple TV+] have a leg up because they are already consumer facing brands,” Henschel said. “Disney has the strongest hold in my opinion right now.”

When asked how many in the audience would buy the new service when it launches, the majority of attendees raised their hands.

EMA Announces Details for Concurrent LAES and OTT_X Conferences

The Entertainment Merchants Association will present two conferences — the Los Angeles Entertainment Summit (LAES) and the OTT_X conference — on July 16 at the Universal Hilton in Universal City, Calif.

The two conferences will address different aspects of the entertainment industry, according to the EMA. The LAES will examine the overall digital home entertainment marketplace, while the OTT_X conference, chaired by Erick Opeka, president of Cinedigm Digital Networks, will look at the over-the-top sector, including subscription and ad-supported VOD.

On July 17 conference attendees can participate in industry roundtables and discussions.

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Registrants for one conference can attend the other at no additional cost, and all attendees will be admitted to the opening night cocktail party from 6:30-8:30 p.m. July 16.

Registration begins at 7 a.m. July 16.

Opening remarks for the OTT_X conference begin at 9 a.m. followed by a research presentation at 9:15 a.m.; panels on monetization of OTT and windowing to enhance value and revenue; and a “Fireside Keynote” on AVOD.

Opening remarks for the LAES begin at 2 p.m., followed by a consumer panel, research presentation and keynote speaker to be determined.

Roundtables and workshops on July 17 include deep dives on conference research presentations, the EMA Retailing Council (EMA members only), supply chain, and OTT.

To register for the LAES, click here.

To register for the OTT_X conference, click here.

Cinedigm Acquiring AVOD Platform ‘Future Today’ for $60 Million

Cinedigm March 15 announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Future Today, one of the largest ad-supported VOD networks, for $45 million in cash and $15 million in Cinedigm common stock.

The acquisition increases Cinedigm’s over-the-top video footprint to over 7.6 million monthly active users and 67 million total app installs.

The Los Angeles-based home entertainment distributor said Future Today, which owns and operates more than 700 content channels with more than 60 million app installs, and manages more than 200,000 film, television and digital content assets,generated about $23.9 million in revenue in 2018.

Future Today brands include Fawesome.tv, focused on general entertainment movies & television shows, and HappyKids.tv, providing age-specific edutainment in the connected TV market.

Alok Ranjan and Vikrant Mathur, co-founders of Future Today, will continue to lead the subsidiary as co-presidents, entering into long-term employment agreements with Cinedigm upon the deal closing.

“Building our stake in the rapidly surging AVOD business is a top priority for Cinedigm, and the acquisition instantaneously transforms our company into the world’s largest provider of premium [ad-supported] content,” Chris McGurk, chairman/CEO of Cinedigm said in a statement.

Future Today’s cloud-based technology and ad-based monetization platform manages OTT services for more than 350 content owners, producers, distributors and major media companies helping them launch and monetize connected TV channels across all devices.

“Alok and Vikrant have built Future Today into one of the most respected and fastest growing companies monetizing video content today,” said Erick Opeka, president of Cinedigm Digital Networks. “Their entrepreneurial spirit and deep knowledge of the video ad space, combined with Cinedigm’s content and relationships, will be a formidable and compelling combination in the rapidly growing AVOD segment.”

The transaction is expected to close in the second calendar quarter of 2019 and is subject to customary closing conditions.

Cinedigm Closes Acquisition of Viewster and Subsidiary Viewster Anime

Cinedigm Feb. 5 announced the acquisition of video-on-demand service Viewster and its subsidiary Viewster Anime, in a deal that bolsters Cinedigm’s extensive OTT content portfolio.

The Los Angeles-based home entertainment distributor immediately takes over ownership and management of all Viewster and Viewster Anime content, augmenting the platforms’ roster of offerings into Cinedigm’s library of channels and content, with select programming debuting on the latter’s lifestyle network CONtv.

Cinedigm will also overseeing operation of all content, applications and social assets belonging to both platforms. Ad sales will be handled in-house and through Cinedigm’s network of partners.

Viewster Anime will continue to exist as a subscription channel on Amazon Channels as well as on The Roku Channel. Cinedigm also plans to bring ad-supported, linear and subscription offerings of Viewster to additional OEM, cable, telco and digital partners over the next several quarters.

“Viewster and Viewster Anime are perfect complements to our growing base of premium content networks,” Erick Opeka, president of Cinedigm Digital Networks, said in a statement. “The acquisition of Viewster strengthens our market position in the fandom space, dramatically increases our global footprint, and greatly accelerates our plans to grow our ad-supported businesses.”

Founded in Zurich, Switzerland in 2007, Viewster has emerged as a competitive force in the global VOD industry — delivering digital content, and establishing a branded presence in more than 30 international markets, a combined 256,000 subscribers across YouTube and Amazon Prime Video, as well as more than 1.1 million monthly active viewers globally.

The acquisition expands Cinedigm’s OTT video customer base, which achieved over 370% year-over-year growth in ad-supported user base across linear and ad-supported VOD platforms in 2018 alone.

Cinedigm will continue to distribute Viewster Anime as a standalone brand, featuring films and series from Japan.

Acquired content includes movies such as Jin-Roh: The Wolf BrigadeFist Of The North Star, and Galaxy Express 999, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie and Night On The Galactic Railroad, as well as series such as “Street Fighter II: The Animated Series,” “Mazinger Edition Z: The Impact!,” “Gunslinger Girl,” “GATE,” and “Food Wars,” among many others.