Documentary+ Added as FAST Channel on Samsung TVs

Documentary+, a streaming platform for nonfiction film and television content, is now available as a 24/7 linear FAST (free ad-supported TV) channel on Samsung TVs in the United States.

Samsung TV Plus audiences can find Documentary+’s nonfiction films and series via the Samsung TV Plus app in the Smart Hub, with no subscriptions, logins or fees.

Documentary+ is available now in nearly all American households and almost every country globally, according to the service. In addition to Samsung, Documentary+ is streaming 24/7 as a FAST channel on Vizio, Xumo and LG and as an on-demand app on Apple TV, Amazon, Roku, mobile devices and www.docplus.com.

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“FAST channels are the most disruptive thing to happen to television since cable, and nobody has a bigger footprint or audience than Samsung,” Bryn Mooser, Documentary+ CEO and founder, said in a statement. “This is a big moment for Documentary+ and the nonfiction industry as a whole, with nearly every household in America having access to the world’s best documentaries for free.”

Samsung TV Plus is free TV, with no subscription, no sign-up, no additional device or credit card needed. It is pre-installed on all 2016-21 Samsung Smart-TVs and is available for download from the Google Play and Galaxy Store on select Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets. Samsung TV Plus delivers 180 free channels across multiple genres, including news, sports, entertainment, and a VOD library of movies and shows. The free, ad-supported video service is available in the United States and 22 other major markets globally.

Kino Lorber, Giant Pictures Launch Free Ad-Supported Streaming Service Kino Cult

Kino Lorber has partnered with Giant Pictures to launch Kino Cult, a free ad-supported streaming destination for genre lovers of horror and cult films.

Featuring hundreds of hours of curated, theatrically released films all in high-definition, with new titles added monthly, Kino Cult launches widely in the United States and Canada on Oct. 1 across Web, mobile devices and connected TVs, with VOD apps on major devices, such as Roku, Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Google TV, iOS, Android and more.

Giant Pictures is the technology partner for Kino Cult, responsible for the device apps, channel distribution and ad-tech in the new venture.

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“From the arthouse to the haunted house, the channel will dive deep into unapologetically weird genre cinema, blending recent art house discoveries fresh from cinemas with high quality restorations of notorious grindhouse gems,” according to a press release.

Kino Lorber brings 40 years of experience as a theatrical and home entertainment distributor of international and American indie films to Kino Cult, where the focus will be on “the wild and the weird of genre cinema,” according to the release. Kino Cult plans to serve its audience with a deep catalog of hundreds of relevant titles, many of which are streamable for the very first time, all in HD, the press release noted.

The channel will offer cult cinema across action, horror, comedy and sci-fi, both new and rare vintage hits of genre cinema, giving movie fans “access to films that have not been easy to find in the streaming age,” the press release stated.

Distribution Solutions Putting Content on Pluto TV

Distribution Solutions, a division of Alliance Entertainment, has announced a new partnership with Pluto TV to distribute its content through the free streaming TV service across the United States.

Content from Distribution Solutions will begin appearing on Pluto TV channels starting in fall 2021.

“We are excited to partner with Pluto TV,” Ben Means, president of Distribution Solutions, said in a statement. “Through this partnership, premium independent content from our label partners will be available to their impressive audience of 52 million monthly active users.”

More than 450 hours of content from Distribution Solutions’ label partners will be available for streaming on Pluto TV, curated to plug into the Pluto TV channels.

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Notable titles coming to Pluto TV include family favorites such as The Cat in the Hat and Benji; cult classics such as Gone in 60 Seconds (1974), the Andy Sidaris films and “Gumby”; true crime content such as the “Becoming Evil” docuseries; and recent indie horror hits such as Hostile and Open 24 Hours.

“We are thrilled to welcome Alliance Entertainment and its expansive collection of top-quality content to the world of Pluto TV,” Will Gurman, VP of global content partnerships for Pluto TV, said in a statement. “With this partnership, we look forward to bringing our viewers an even wider array of genres and programming to lean back and enjoy, ranging from reality to history, kids content, and more — all for free.”

Data: 60% of Connected-TV Households Stream Ad-Supported Content

Consumer interest in free ad-supported VOD (AVOD) content and live television (FAST) continues to proliferate. New data from The Diffusion Group suggests 60% of connected-TV households stream ad-supported content across myriad platforms — spearheaded by YouTube.

AVOD and FAST services driving the market include ViacomCBS’s Pluto TV, Fox Entertainment’s Tubi, Comcast-owned Xumo and Amazon’s IMDb TV, among others.

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TDG found that 24% of connected-TV households consume ad-supported streaming content on a daily basis, while 32% stream weekly. Among AVOD/FAST consumers, 76% stream YouTube, the longest-running streaming video platform, followed by Pluto TV, Tubi and Xumo.

“Clearly the effects of work-from-home and lack of traditional leisure options during the pandemic accelerated consumer use of free ad-supported streaming services,” Doug Montgomery, senior analyst and author of Back to the Future: The Rise of Ad-Supported Streaming Video, said in a statement. “Most major video providers have been preparing for this moment for years and thus able to quickly adapt to an accelerated timeline. It is a unique moment in the history of the entertainment business and those who move quickly and boldly will likely reap the benefits for years to come.”

Redbox Inks Free Streaming Deal With Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Comedy Brand

Redbox and Laugh Out Loud (LOL), the global multi-platform comedy brand founded by Kevin Hart, have announced a content deal to bring more than 100 hours of stand-up specials and television shows to Redbox’s free AVOD streaming service.

The titles will be available through the Redbox streaming app via the LOL! Network, which is available on a wide range of devices, including Roku, Vizio, Samsung, LG, Xbox, iOS and Android.

The lineup includes comedy series, stand-up specials and television shows from LOL, including “All-Star Comedy Jam: I’m Still Laughing,” “All-Star Comedy Jam: Orlando,” “Gary Own: True Story,” “Kevin Hart: What Now? All Access,” “DeRay Davis: Power Play” and “Shaq and Cedric the Entertainer Present All-Star Comedy Jam.”

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Kevin Hart’s LOL! Network free streaming channel is also available to watch 24 hours a day via the Redbox app.

“Laugh Out Loud has an amazing collection of comedy specials and movies that will entertain our viewers for hours and hours on end,” Chris Yates, GM of Redbox On Demand, said in a statement. “Kevin has created a media powerhouse and we’re excited to add Laugh Out Loud’s amazing and hilarious content to Redbox On Demand.”

“Our goal at Laugh Out Loud has always been to be where the audience is. We are comedy in color wherever, and whenever, our audience wants or needs a laugh,” Laugh Out Loud CEO Jeff Clanagan said in a statement. “Redbox has been a dominant force in home entertainment for years, and we’re excited to partner with Redbox to bring our catalog of original series, stand up specials, and movies to millions of households throughout the country.”

Vizio Adds 10 Free AVOD Channels on SmartCast TVs

Vizio May 4 added 10 lifestyle streaming channels to SmartCast, its connected smart-TV operating system. The free ad-supported VOD channels include PeopleTV, QVC, HSN, Jack Hanna, Love Nature, Real Wild, Fuse Sweat, Absolute History, Revry and Horse & Country.

To support a growing consumer shift to streaming — and mine incremental revenue opportunities from AVOD — Vizio has aggressively expanded its free ad-supported services and subscription streaming apps. Total viewing time on SmartCast increased 156% in 2020, reaching 11.6 billion hours of viewing time.

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“With the launch of these additional lifestyle channels and apps, SmartCast viewers will be able to access even more content that aligns with their interests, their experiences, and their lives,” Katherine Pond, VP of business development for Vizio, said in a statement. “From entertainment news to nature and from travel to shopping and more, we’re committed to continually expanding our offering with diverse programming and content.”

The new channels can be found under the “Vizio Free Channels” section from the SmartCast Home screen and complement Irvine, Calif.-based Vizio’s WatchFree streaming service.

Channels include:

  • PeopleTV — Combining the access of People magazine and Entertainment Weekly, this channel features the red carpet, royal news, celebrity weddings, among other reality TV news.
  • QVC and HSN offer trademark livestream shopping, with curated, ever-changing collections of familiar brands and new products, from home and fashion to beauty, electronics, and jewelry.
  • The Jack Hanna Channel features the adventures of the famous zookeeper. From his days in the 1970s transforming Columbus, Ohio’s city zoo into a worldwide destination that in 2019 attracted more than 2 million visitors, Hanna has built a wildlife franchise encompassing TV shows, such as “Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild,” “Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown” and “Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures,” which has been viewed in more than 60 countries.
  • Love Nature is a wildlife and nature brand that brings audiences stories about the natural world that foster a deeper understanding of and connection to the planet Earth. A library of original series and documentaries are produced by natural history filmmakers around the globe. Programming highlights include “Wildlife Icons,” “Secrets of Wild Australia,” “Arabian Inferno,” “Shark Squad,” “Wild Wild East,” “Land of Gremlins,” and more.
  • Real Wild is a wildlife and nature channel from Little Dot Studios. From rainforests to sparse deserts, from majestic birds to predatory sharks, Real Wild explores the wonders and dangers of nature.
  • Fuse Sweat is home to catalog workout shows from nostalgic names like Richard Simmons and Jane Fonda, to fit-pros like Billy Blanks and Denise Austin.
  • Absolute History is the home of fascinating and sometimes shocking stories from throughout history and the people that make history. The channel offers an immersive view of what life was like in the past and sheds new light on world history from the ancient civilizations to medieval Europe to the First and Second World Wars.
  • Revry is the global streaming media network for the inclusive 21st century queer community. The channel offers viewers a curated selection of authentic LGBTQ films, series, originals and music.
  • Horse & Country features equestrian sports, training and educational shows, entertainment, and documentaries. The programming lineup includes highlights from this year’s Carolina International 4, Master Classes with American Show Jumpers, Georgina Bloomberg and Laura Kraut, and documentary Victory Tour: America’s Top 4.