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Chicken Soup For the Soul Entertainment Completes Acquisition of Redbox in $375M Deal

Stephen Silver

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (CSSE), already the owner of Crackle, has expanded its entertainment holdings once again, with the news that its previously reported purchase of Redbox has been completed.

Per the Hollywood Reporter, the deal is a $375 million all-stock merger, which was approved by Redbox shareholders earlier this week. The acquisition was originally announced back in May.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, formerly best known for the book series of the name, has made a move into video streaming in recent years. The company bought a majority stake in Crackle from Sony in 2019, before purchasing film distributor 1991 Pictures earlier this year.

The company’s goal, furthered by its purchase of Redbox, has been to build a war chest of content that it can stream, using a free-ad supported TV (FAST) channels and ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) platforms.

“Together, we will build a fully developed AVOD and FAST streaming business: proven branded streaming services, formidable content and production capabilities, and a strong AVOD and FAST ad sales operation,” CSSE CEO William J. Rouhana Jr. said when the deal was announced in May.

Redbox, best known for its DVD rental kiosks, has been in the streaming video business since 2018, offering both video-on-demand (VOD) rentals and FAST streaming. Following the CSSE deal, Redbox’s 36,000 kiosks will remain. Redbox had gone public via a SPAC in 2021, but faced financial difficulties afterward, leading to the deal.

CSSE owns multiple streaming brands with different apps, including Crackle, Popcornflix, Popcornflix Kids, Truli, Pivotshare, Españolflix, and FrightPix. All of these streaming brands fall under the Crackle Plus umbrella.

Redbox

Redbox is a free ad-supported video streaming service with dozens of live streaming channels and on demand movies. Users can also rent or buy movies through the platform.

Starting in 2002, Redbox began offering DVDs through its iconic kiosks. The company launched Redbox On Demand in 2018 to deliver a broader selection of movies and TV shows via video-on-demand.

Streaming rentals typically run $1.99-$5.99, though you can sometimes rent theatrical releases early for $19.99. Purchases are often $9.99-$19.99. Users can sometimes get a discount by purchasing movie bundles. Older films are usually less expensive than new releases.

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