Cinedigm Acquires Horror Streaming Service Screambox

Cinedigm Corp. has acquired Screambox, an enthusiast streaming service targeting the horror genre.

Called “The Perfect Horror Streaming Alternative to Netflix” by Tech Times and named one of the best Streaming Services for 2021 by PC Mag, according to a Cinedigm release, Screambox features a mix of content for casual and die-hard horror fans.

The service, which launched in 2015, is available across the web, mobile devices, Connected TVs, and as an Amazon Prime Channel, among other outlets.

Cinedigm will leverage its horror and thriller content library, app technology, and Matchpoint distribution platform to expand Screambox’s content offering, according to the release. The company will relaunch the service’s apps and expand distribution to Cinedigm’s more than 900 million global connected device footprint. Cinedigm also plans to expand the distribution of Screambox to its base of third-party subscription channel partners, including Roku, Comcast, Sling TV, Dish Network and others.

“The company anticipates the service could reach seven figure subscriber levels within the first 36 months after the acquisition is completed, with a focus on rapid global expansion and distribution,” according to the press release.

Cinedigm will continue to offer Screambox on a subscription basis alongside Bloody Disgusting TV, an ad-based horror service operated in partnership with Bloody Disgusting, the largest horror website with more than 20 million monthly visitors. The company will also bundle subscription offers with its fandom subscription service, CONtv, for one price and will draw from a pool of more than 4,000 relevant film titles in its library, including thousands of newly obtained classic, cult and foreign horror titles from streaming service The Film Detective, which it acquired in December 2020.

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Cinedigm plans to more than double the available content on Screambox over the next 90 days, according to the press release.

Larry Baird, Screambox chief operating officer, will remain on board to oversee the transition.

The acquisition of Screambox follows Cinedigm’s recent acquisition of Fandor, an independent film subscription streaming service, and The Film Detective, focused on classic film and television programming.

“The acquisition of Screambox is another huge streaming opportunity for Cinedigm,” Chris McGurk, Cinedigm chairman, said in a statement. “Having just acquired Fandor, which The Wall Street Journal called ‘the Netflix of independent film,’ we see that same kind of potential for Screambox in the huge, underserved horror category where millions of enthusiasts around the world are looking for a widely-distributed streaming channel with a huge volume of premium horror content. Dan March, Screambox Founder, and his team did a fantastic job in laying the groundwork for all that, and we intend to deliver on his vision.”

“Despite more than 145,000 horror films listed in The Internet Movie Database, less than 5% of the genre is currently available for fans to enjoy in a subscription environment,” Erick Opeka, chief strategy officer of Cinedigm, said in a statement. “We plan to immediately expand that opportunity by building on top of the great foundation Screambox provides into a massive, global library of the world’s best classic, contemporary and foreign horror content — that will create a seven-figure subscriber opportunity in success.”

Netflix Inks Deal With Disney Vet Nancy Kanter for Kids and Family Content

Netflix has entered a partnership with executive producer and former Disney exec Nancy Kanter and her Available Light Productions to develop and produce new original content for the service globally.

Kanter will develop and produce animated and live action projects, both feature films and series, for kids and families.

Kanter most recently served as EVP of content and creative strategy at Disney Channels Worldwide, and is a 20-year Disney veteran who established the Disney Junior brand, developing programming for the network and growing them into franchises, including the Peabody Award-winning “Doc McStuffins,” the Emmy Award-winning “Sofia the First,” the Emmy Award-nominated “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “The Owl House,” and other series “Elena of Avalor” and “Vampirina” for Disney Junior. She also shepherded “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” “Monsters at Work,” “Secret Society of Second Born Royals” and the upcoming movies Spin and Sneakerella, all for Disney+.

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“Throughout my career I’ve challenged myself to think differently, imagine bigger and aim higher,” Kanter said in a statement. “I am delighted at this opportunity to partner with the innovative creators and executive team at Netflix who value those same aspirations, and I look forward to working with them to create new stories that will inspire the minds and touch the hearts of kids and families everywhere.”

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“We want Netflix to be the home of the world’s best storytellers and creative visionaries, and few embody that more than Nancy Kanter,” Melissa Cobb, Netflix VP of original animation, said in a statement. “She’s already made a lasting impact on a generation of kids — creating opportunities to see their lives on screen and inspiring them to feel connected to something bigger than themselves. We can’t wait for her to bring new stories to life at Netflix, and continue to entertain and inspire audiences around the world.”

HBO Max Celebrates Black History Month

HBO Max has launched a “Black History Is Our History” spotlight page, highlighting its slate of content in honor of Black History Month.

The page links to curated programming, featuring films, documentaries, biopics, original programming and animation that focus on the Black experience.

It will showcase documentaries and biopics that highlight civil rights icons, including one of the next Warner Bros. Same Day Premieres, Judas and the Black Messiah, (available in theaters and on HBO Max and streaming on HBO Max for 31 days from theatrical release), Black Art: In the Absence of Light, Between the World and Me, John Lewis: Good Trouble, Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland and King of the Wilderness. Original programming from black leads includes the HBO Max Original “Charm City Kings,” “Lovecraft Country,” “Watchmen,” “A Black Lady Sketch Show” and “Euphoria.” Family-friendly titles include “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and “Teen Titans” and animated series, such as “The Boondocks” and “Black Dynamite.”

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The spotlight page will also include the 2020 finalists of HBO’s Short Film Competition in partnership with the American Black Film Festival (ABFF): “Dolapo Is Fine,” “A Storybook Ending,” “Black Boy Joy,” “A Rodeo Film” and “The Cypher.”

HBO subscribers in the U.S. have free access to the HBO Max app as part of their HBO subscription through participating providers. HBO Max is offering a limited time savings of 20% when prepaying for 6 months, now available through March 1. Terms and conditions apply.

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Content includes:

OUR PAST (Documentaries, Biopics, and Original Films)

  • 4 Little Girls, 1997 (HBO)
  • 40 Years a Prisoner, 2020 (HBO)
  • 1968, 2018
  • Amistad, 1997 (HBO)
  • Being Serena (HBO)
  • Bessie, 2015 (HBO)
  • Between the World and Me, 2020 (HBO)
  • Black Art: In The Absence of Light, 2021 (HBO) (premieres Feb. 9)
  • Boycott, 2001 (HBO)
  • Confirmation, 2016 (HBO)
  • Ebony: The Last Years of the Atlantic Slave Trade, 2016
  • Equal, 2020
  • Fists of Freedom: The Story of the ’68 Summer Games, 1999 (HBO)
  • Harriet, 2019 (HBO)
  • John Lewis: Good Trouble, 2020
  • Just Mercy, 2019 (HBO)
  • Kareem: Minority of One, 2015 (HBO)
  • King: A Filmed Record … Montgomery to Memphis, 1970
  • King in the Wilderness, 2018 (HBO)
  • Malcolm X, 1992
  • Mavis!, 2015 (HBO)
  • Miss Evers’ Boys, 1997 (HBO)
  • Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist, 1979
  • Ray, 2004 (HBO)
  • Red Tails, 2012 (HBO)
  • Roots, 1997
  • Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland, 2018 (HBO)
  • Sugar Ray Robinson: The Bright Lights & Dark Shadows of a Champion, 1998 (HBO)
  • The Apollo, 2019 (HBO)
  • The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, 1974 (HBO)
  • The Hurricane, 1999 (HBO)
  • The Loving Story, 2011 (HBO)
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, 2017 (HBO)
  • “The Shop: Uninterrupted” S3, E2 (HBO)
  • The Soul of America, 2020 (HBO)
  • The Tuskegee Airmen, 1995 (HBO)
  • Tiger, Parts 1 & 2 2021 (HBO)
  • True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality, 2019 (HBO)
  • Under the Grapefruit Tree: The CC Sabathia Story, 2020 (HBO)
  • We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest, 2020 (HBO)
  • We Will Rise: Michelle Obama’s Mission to Educate Girls Around the World, 2016
  • What’s My Name | Muhammad Ali Parts 1 & 2, 2019 (HBO)
  • Women of Troy, 2020 (HBO)

 

OUR JOY (Classic Comedy Series, Films, and Stand-Up Specials)

  • Amanda Seales: I Be Knowin’, 2019 (HBO)
  • “A Black Lady Sketch Show” (HBO)
  • A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, 1996
  • Chris Rock: Bigger and Blacker, 1999 (HBO)
  • Dave Chappelle: Killing Them Softly, 2000 (HBO)
  • Eve
  • Fifty Shades of Black, 2016 (HBO)
  • How to Be a Player, 1997 (HBO)
  • “Insecure” (HBO)
  • “Key & Peele”
  • Legendary
  • Life, 1999 (HBO)
  • Lil Rel Howery: Live in Crenshaw, 2019 (HBO)
  • Loiter Squad
  • Love and Basketball, 2000
  • Love Jones, 1997
  • Purple Rain, 1984
  • “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion
  • The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency (HBO)
  • The Photograph, 2020 (HBO)
  • The Wayans Bros
  • Yvonne Orji: Momma, I Made It!, 2020 (HBO)

 

OUR FUTURE (Series and Films)

  • “2 Dope Queens” (HBO)
  • Above the Rim, 1994 (HBO)
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild, 2012 (HBO)
  • Betty (HBO)
  • Charm City Kings, 2020
  • Chewing Gum
  • David Makes Man
  • “Euphoria” (HBO)
  • Flight, 2012 (HBO)
  • Go Tell It on the Mountain, 1985 (HBO)
  • He Got Game, 1998 (HBO)
  • Home Videos (HBO)
  • Industry (HBO)
  • “Insecure” (HBO)
  • I May Destroy You (HBO)
  • Lean on Me, 1989
  • “Lovecraft Country” (HBO)
  • Malcolm X, 1992
  • Native Son, 2019 (HBO)
  • New Jack City, 1991
  • Nightingale, 2014 (HBO)
  • “O.G.”, 2018 (HBO)
  • Queen and Slim, 2019 (HBO)
  • Random Acts of Flyness (HBO)
  • Rosewood, 1997
  • Sermon on the Mount (HBO)
  • Something the Lord Made, 2004 (HBO)
  • The Color Purple, 1985
  • The Last King of Scotland, 2006 (HBO)
  • The Little Things, 2021(Streaming for a limited time)
  • “True Detective” (HBO)
  • Us, 2019 (expires Feb. 22) (HBO)
  • “Watchmen” (HBO)
  • We Are Who We Are (HBO)
  • Yuli, 2018 (HBO)

 

OUR IMAGINATION (Animation)

  • “Black Dynamite’
  • “Codename: Kids Next Door”
  • “Craig of the Creek”
  • “gen:LOCK”
  • “Laser Wolf”
  • “Static Shock”
  • “Steven Universe”
  • “Steven Universe Future”
  • “Teen Titans”
  • “The Boondocks”
  • “The Jellies”
  • Todd McFarlane’s Spawn (HBO)
  • Vixen
  • “Young Justice”

 

Additionally, the select titles below will be available for free on HBO.com and HBOMax.com.

 

Titles available on HBO.com

  • 40 Years a Prisoner (HBO)
  • “Being Serena” (Season 1 Episode 1) (HBO)
  • Between the World and Me (HBO)
  • Bessie (HBO)
  • Black Art: In the Absence of Light (premieres 2/9) (HBO)
  • “I May Destroy You” (Season 1 Episode 1) (HBO)
  • “Insecure” (Season 1 Episode 1) (HBO)
  • “King in the Wilderness” (HBO)
  • “Lovecraft Country” (Episode 1) (HBO)
  • Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland (HBO)
  • The Apollo (HBO)
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (HBO)
  • The Loving Story (HBO)
  • “The Shop: Uninterrupted” (Season 3 Episode 2) (HBO)
  • We Are the Dream (HBO)
  • What’s My Name | Muhammad Ali (HBO)
  • Women of Troy (HBO)

 

Titles available on HBOMax.com

  • “A Black Lady Sketch Show” (Season 1 Episode 1)
  • “Being Serena” (Season 1 Episode 1)
  • Between the World and Me
  • Black Boy Joy (premieres Feb. 2)
  • “Insecure” (Season 1 Episode 1)
  • “I May Destroy You” (Season 1 Episode 1)
  • “Lovecraft Country” (Episode 1)
  • “Watchmen” (Episode 1)

‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run’ to Debut on Paramount+, PVOD March 4; ‘SpongeBob’ Series to Bow on Streaming Service

Paramount Pictures’ animated film The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run will premiere on ViacomCBS’s streaming service Paramount+ and on PVOD as a $19.99 rental from Paramount Home Entertainment March 4.

The film was released theatrically during the summer.

“Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years” (Paramount+ 2021 CBS Interactive)

The new Paramount+ original series “Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years” also will debut on the service March 4, with the first six episodes available to subscribers in the United States. The rest of the season’s 13-episode order will roll out on the platform at later dates to be announced.

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In the CGI-animated Sponge on the Run, SpongeBob’s beloved pet snail Gary goes missing and a path of clues leads SpongeBob and Patrick to the powerful King Poseidon, who has Gary held captive in the Lost City of Atlantic City. On their mission to save Gary, SpongeBob and his pals team up for a heroic and hilarious journey where they discover nothing is stronger than the power of friendship.

The Nickelodeon series “Kamp Koral: SpongeBob’s Under Years” is the first-ever “SpongeBob SquarePants” spinoff. The CGI-animated prequel series follows 10-year-old SpongeBob and his pals during summer sleepaway camp where they spend their time building underwater campfires, catching wild jellyfish and swimming in Lake Yuckymuck in the kelp forest, Kamp Koral.

Sling TV Raises Prices

Sling TV Jan. 27 raised prices for Sling Orange and Sling Blue base service customers to $35 per month, an increase of $5 per month. Via the multi-service discount, customers can get both Sling Orange and Sling Blue for $50 per month, also an increase of $5 per month.

Existing customer prices will not change through July 2021, when their existing subscription remains active.

“Unfortunately, we are forced to raise prices because the television networks keep charging us more, but we fight hard to get the best deal for our customers,” Michael Schwimmer, group president of Sling TV, said in a statement. “The proof of our commitment is apparent, as Sling TV is still the best deal in the market, keeping our prices much lower than cable and other live streaming services. Sling TV customers can rest assured that we’ll continue to offer the best combination of live news, sports and entertainment cable channels at the best value.”

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The company also instituted new pricing for Sling TV extras:

  • Sports Extra: New customers with Sling Orange or Sling Blue will now pay $11 per month (an increase of $1 per month); new customers who subscribe to both Sling Orange and Sling Blue will continue to pay $15 per month.
  • All other Extras: New customers who subscribe to Comedy Extra, Kids Extra, News Extra, Lifestyle Extra, Hollywood Extra and/or Heartland Extra, will now pay $6 per month for each Extra (an increase of $1 per month).
  • Total TV Deal: New customers who want all the programming Sling TV has to offer can now subscribe to the Total TV Deal for $21 per month with a Sling Orange or Sling Blue service (an increase of $1 per month), or $27 per month for new customers subscribed to both Sling Orange and Sling Blue (increase of $2 per month). The Total TV Deal provides customers with DVR Plus and all seven Sling TV Extras (Sports Extra, Comedy Extra, Kids Extra, News Extra, Lifestyle Extra, Hollywood Extra and Heartland Extra), a value of up to $56 per month.

 

All Sling Orange and Sling Blue customers will receive a free preview of Sling TV’s “4 Extras Deal” through Feb. 15. The 4 Extras Deal provides customers with Kids Extra, News Extra, Lifestyle Extra and Comedy Extra for $12 per month (a savings of $12 per month if purchased separately).

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Sling TV also expanded its DVR offerings to all existing and new subscribers. Sling TV customers can now enjoy 50 hours of free DVR storage, an increase from 10 free storage hours, or upgrade to “DVR Plus” for 200 hours of storage, up from 50, for $5 per month.

“A robust DVR feature is a must-have for a premium entertainment experience — customers have told us they want more, and we delivered,” said Schwimmer in a statement. “By more than quadrupling DVR for all customers at no charge, Sling TV continues to provide the best value for pay-TV in the industry.”

All existing DVR Plus customers will automatically receive 200 hours in their storage, starting Jan. 28.

Apple TV+ Renews ‘Tehran’ for Second Season

Apple TV+ Jan. 26 announced that “Tehran,” the global espionage thriller from Moshe Zonder and Omri Shenhar, has been renewed for a second season.

“Tehran” tells the story of Mossad agent Tamar Rabinyan, who goes deep undercover on a dangerous mission in Tehran that places her and everyone around her in dire jeopardy. The series stars Niv Sultan, Shaun Toub, Navid Negahban, Shervin Alenabi, Liraz Charhi and Menashe Noy.

Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app in more than 100 countries and regions on devices including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, select Samsung, LG, Sony and Vizio smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices, and PlayStation and Xbox consoles, and at tv.apple.com, for $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial.

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For a limited time, customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free. This special offer is good for three months after the first activation of the eligible device.

Exercise Streaming Service Collagevideo.tv Offering 90-Day Free Trial

Exercise subscription streaming service Collagevideo.tv is offering an extended 90-day free trial for those who sign up through July 4.

The promo code for the Independence Day offer is “90EVERYONE.”

Consumers who cancel before the 90-day free trial is up will not be charged. After the trial period, the service is $9.99 a month. Consumers can cancel at any time with no obligation.

Content on the service ranges from Pilates to yoga to step aerobics, offers everything from beginner to advanced workouts, and features such fitness stars as Denise Austin, Kathy Smith and Gilad.

New content is added weekly.

“We’re expanding and working with more new instructors and producers, so stay tuned,” said marketing manager Nisreen Damatti at BayView Entertainment, which owns the service.

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Collagevideo.tv can be viewed on most devices, including iPad, iPhone, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Android, personal computers, laptops and many more.

Report: Streaming Video Consumption Up 72%

More people globally are streaming video for their entertainment. New data from Conviva found year-over-year viewership grew 72% and the rate of consumption growth increased by 49% in the first quarter (ended March 31) compared to the previous-year period.

The streaming TV analytics company monitors a trillion real-time transactions per day via 3 billion applications streaming on devices in 180 countries.

In United States, online TV services continue to grow in popularity. Services such as DirecTV Now, Hulu, PlayStation Vue, and Sling TV saw viewership grow 108% year-over-year as compared to 60% growth for other services, i.e. Netflix.

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Indeed, Hulu, which is co-owned by Disney and Comcast, ended 2018 with 25 million subscribers — about half of Netflix’s domestic tally.

The report found that 64% of mobile video streaming is on-demand content versus live video (36%). On PCs, on-demand content represented 57% of streaming vs. 43% live video. VOD consumption increased to 62% on connected TVs compared to 38% live video.

Failure rates of streaming TV ads continue to pose risks and opportunity. Up to 47% of ads are failing, a significant percentage when even a 1% failure rate carries a high cost and impact on engagement, according to Conviva.

Indeed, the report found that just a five-second ad delay resulted in 13.6% of viewers moving on to another video.

The battle for the TV screen is not over. Amazon Fire TV captured 18.6% share, up significantly from 11.4% share in Q1 2018, while Roku maintained its long-standing lead of 42.4% share.

Live sports streaming remains hot.

The College Football National Championship had the highest peak concurrent viewership, 37.6% higher than the Q1‘18 peak event. Super Bowl LIII and March Madness streaming viewership grew significantly, up 157% and 67%, respectively, from Q1 2018.

Other top streamed content in Q1 included the Golden Globes, Oscars, Michael Cohen’s Congressional hearings and release of the Mueller report.

Meanwhile, buffering issues improved 34% year-over-year, with 35% fewer video start failures and 17% increased picture quality.

“There’s no surprise that the streaming TV market is expanding significantly,” Bill Demas, CEO of Conviva, said in a statement. “Maintaining a high-quality viewer experience tightly across content and advertising is increasingly important as streaming providers look to increase viewer engagement and monetization. The battle for streaming market share is a fast-growing pie and services must deliver an experience comparable to linear TV to fulfill viewer expectations.”