Mark Burnett and his wife, actress-producer Roma Downey, are betting that religion works as a streaming service. Specifically, the duo is looking to raise $100 million to launch a subscription-based Christian service, reports The Information.
Burnett, the producer behind hit reality shows “The Apprentice” and “Survivor,” and Downey run the MGM-controlled production studio Lightworkers Media, which specializes in religious-themed shows, such as “The Bible” series.
The pair is raising money from outside MGM.
Founded in 2016, Lightworkers bought the rights to develop two faith-based novels into series for the proposed streamer, including Karen Kingsbury’s “The Baxters” and Debbie Macomber’s “Angels Everywhere.” Downey holds the option on Kingsbury’s 26 novels.
The studio also owns Light TV, a television network focused on family fare from MGM’s library. Reach-wise, Lightworkers’ social content reportedly averages 154 million monthly video viewers on Facebook.
One reason to pursue a religious streamer is the devotion of its fan base. While the average churn rate of most streamers is 9%, niche fields endure less, around 5%, per ProfitWell, a software firm that works with subscription services.
Given the amount of streamers just out or soon to debut, including Apple TV+, Disney+, HBO Max and Peacock, Lightworkers may believe it can distinguish itself in a crowded marketplace by promoting Christian-oriented dramas.
Burnett-Roma also executive produced the series “Messiah,” which premiers December 12 on Netflix.