Multiplatform media company Shout! Factory announced on Thursday it is launching Shout! Factory TV, a free-to-the-viewer, ad-supported video streaming service, available through desktop, mobile, tablet and OTT devices such as Roku.
While the bottom has fallen out of the DVD business for new studio films and TV series, Shout! Factory has done well catering to niche audiences with its collection of cult films, children’s content and box sets of classic TV shows. In the last few years, it’s stepped up efforts to acquire non-physical rights to content, and then license it to platforms such as Netflix and Amazon.
But the streaming giants’ interest in the company’s brand of content has been waning, according to Shout! Factory co-founder Garson Foos, creating a gap in the marketplace.
“They’re going bigger and broader all the time, and putting more money into their originals, and it’s leaving a hole for library and niche content, some really great fan and critics-favorite type of stuff that is now not available online,” Foos says. “And that’s really our sweet spot.”
Shout! Factory TV will launch with more than 1,000 hours of content, including movies and full-length TV shows, including classic series like Dennis the Menace.
It will roll out additional properties from its 2,000-hour library at regular intervals, and whenever possible, tied to an outside event.
For instance, it will time its debut of the 1965 live TV version of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical version of Cinderella, starring Lesley Ann Warren, with the March 13th release of Disney’s new live-action take on the classic European folk tale.
Its youth content includes animated comedy Home Movies, a Gerry Anderson collection (including episodes from Thunderbirds), as well as animated series ReBoot and The Jungle Book Adventures of Mowgli.
Shout! Factory TV will be using Hulu’s white label player for its desktop experience, along with Zype for mobile and adRise for OTT. The companies will provide the technology platform, as well as the ad sales team to monetize the content.
Image: screengrab from Shout! TV website