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Cinedigm Revives Fandor Streaming Service Aimed at Cinephiles

Jeff Kotuby

Cinedigm thinks one of its latest acquisitions can be a leader in the niche streaming service market.

Earlier today, Business Insider reported that Cinedigm was reviving Fandor, an independent film subscription streaming service it acquired earlier this year. Fandor houses over 4,600 film titles from more than 400 global and diverse partner film companies, ranging from studio classics to festival favorites to essential award-winning foreign cinema features.

According to Insider, the revived Fandor will offer multiple plans for subscribers who want to customize their viewing experience. They include:

  • A $4.99 per month ad-free plan
  • A $3.99 per month Amazon Prime Video subscription with Fandor’s films
  • A free tier with ads and a limited library
  • A free, ad-supported streaming TV channel that will roll out later this year

Internally, Cinedigm thinks Fandor can reach 1 million subscribers within the next three years and is banking on cinephiles to help them get there. “What they found is that people that love film, they love high art and low art at the same time,” said Cinedigm’s chief strategy officer Erick Opeka. “You can be somebody that loves academic cinema and challenging things like silent film and experimental film, and at the same time, love trash cinema, cult movies; Ed Wood and everything in between. That’s what we’re really about.” Cinedigm plans to further expand Fandor’s already vast library on a monthly basis and will start with about 850-900 titles from the get-go.

When asked about niche services, Opeka cited a recent monster acquisition as proof that there’s a market for services that don’t have a broad appeal. “These services can and will be multi-billion-dollar businesses if they’re successful on a global scale,” Opeka said. “A good example of that is WarnerMedia divesting Crunchyroll as a distraction. If a billion-dollar enthusiastic audience space is a distraction, well I think Cinedigm can be a big player in the distraction business.”

Opeka is, of course, referring to Sony's $1 billion+ acquisition of anime streaming service Crunchyroll through its Funimation brand, making them the destination for anime fans. Crunchyroll had about 90 million free members and five million paying subscribers across more than 200 countries and regions. Opeka and co. are hoping for a fraction of that customer base (but would surely take the numbers Crunchyroll put up.)

Cinedigm is no stranger to anime, adding CONtv Anime, its own 24/7 anime streaming channel, in June 2020. They’ve also added quite a bit of new, diverse content offerings, including a revived El Rey Network and an upcoming 24-hour Elvis Presley channel coming in 2022.

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