Sony Pictures Television has sold majority ownership to their free ad-supported streaming service Crackle to Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (CSS Entertainment) — the VOD content arm of the famous book series. The two companies will create a new streaming video service called Crackle Plus with a combination of Sony-owned content — like Start Up and The Oath, as well as six ad-supported networks owned by CSS including Truli and Popcornflix.
Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment is trying to build a network of video-on-demand networks delivering lifestyle content for all types of screens. In addition of owning existing AVOD networks, the company also produces three original series — Vacation Rental Potential, The Sip, and Project Dad.
In Crackle, CSS Entertainment gets a head start in building a distribution channel for owned and acquired content. While growth has slowed with the addition of new ad-supported services like Viacom-owned Pluto TV, Sinclair-owned STIRR, and independents XUMO and Tubi — Crackle Plus is expected to a combined audience of nearly 10 million active users.
Crackle Plus is expected to have:
- Over 38,500 hours of programming
- More than 90 content partnerships
- Over 1.3 billion minutes streamed per month
- Offering of over 100 networks, both ad-supported and subscription-based, including networks
owned by Crackle Plus and third-party networks
Crackle, which was originally founded in 2004, was sold to Sony in 2006. They were most known for Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, which moved to Netflix last year.
Mike Hopkins, Chairman of Sony Pictures Television:
“Crackle is a valuable asset and we feel confident it will thrive and grow in this new environment with CSS Entertainment. We were drawn to CSS Entertainment as our partner in this venture because of its aggressive, entrepreneurial approach. The CSS Entertainment team have the enthusiasm and strong business acumen to ensure Crackle Plus is poised to maximize the growing opportunities in the AVOD marketplace.”