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Crackle and Redbox’s Parent Company Saw 4000% Increase in Streaming Minutes for Best Quarter in History

David Satin

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (CSSE) released its third-quarter earnings report this week, and the numbers have company executives celebrating. After completing the purchase of the movie rental and free ad-supported TV (FAST) service Redbox in August, the company is reporting its most successful quarter ever, thanks to its streaming acquisitions.

The company saw Q3 revenue up 149% year over year, driven by strong ad-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) transactional video-on-demand (TVOD) performances. The company saw a 4,000% increase in minutes viewed across the company’s streaming app from August to September.

“This has been the best financial quarter in our history, and our position in the free and low-cost streaming ecosystem is stronger than ever after completing the acquisition of Redbox during the quarter,” CSSE chairman and CEO William J. Rouhana, Jr. said. “Despite a slowing economy, I am optimistic about the days ahead as we continue to serve value-conscious consumers across kiosk, transactional and ad-supported video-on-demand services.”

The purchase of Redbox was the big move of the quarter for CSSE. The deal was reportedly worth $375 million, and it allowed CSSE to fold Redbox into its Crackle Plus family of streaming options. Crackle is a FAST service with on-demand access to series and movies, which CSSE has owned since 2019. Other channels under the Crackle Plus umbrella include Popcornflix, Popcornflix Kids, Truli, Pivotshare, Españolflix, and FrightPix.

CSSE will continue to operate the ubiquitous disc rental kiosks that dot grocery stores and gas stations across the country, but the company is also emphasizing Redbox’s digital capabilities. Customers can now rent movies from a Redbox “value menu” for between $0 and $2, either in person or on-demand via the Redbox website.

The introduction of the value menu is a furthering of CSSE’s goal to become a hub for low-cost streaming. The company sees Redbox as a valuable tool in accomplishing this goal, as CSSE CEO William J. Rouhana Jr. made clear when the deal was first announced back in May.

“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,” Rouhana said.

CSSE has been making strides in expanding the FAST offerings on Redbox, as well. The company recently added eight new FAST channels to Redbox, including channels dedicated to “The Biggest Loser” and “Fear Factor.” The additions bring Redbox’s total FAST channel catalog to over 150.

“We have been aggressively adding channels to our Redbox Free Live TV service and expect to accelerate that further in the coming months,” CSSE chief digital officer Adam Mosam said regarding the new channels. “The addition of these addictive evergreen channels combined with hundreds of hours of newly added genre content adds tremendous value to our growing FAST offering.”

  • 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.

  • Crackle

    Crackle is a free video streaming service that includes on-demand access to movies and TV Shows.

    Its TV collection is more notable than its film library. You’ll find old hits like “Just Shoot Me,” “NewsRadio,” “ALF,” “TJ Hooker,” and “Red Dwarf.”

    Crackle also features “Crackle Original” series such as On the Ropes, Snatch, Going from Broke, Hidden Heroes, and The Oath.

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