Redbox CEO sees Crackle Plus as AVOD model – Media Play News

Galen Smith, CEO of Redbox

Erik Gruenwedel

On the heels of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment’s acquisition of Redbox Entertainment, Redbox CEO Galen Smith, in a memo to employees, said the deal will help the former DVD rental kiosk provider in part. to transition to ad-supported streaming video distribution.

Chicken Soup, which owns and operates Crackle Plus, one of the original AVOD streaming platforms, is set to acquire Redbox in an all-stock deal worth $375 million.

Galen said Crackle Plus would “perfectly” complement Redbox’s legacy business as well as new digital offerings. Originally launched in Canada in 2004 as Grouper, Sony Pictures Television acquired the platform in 2006 and renamed it Crackle. Sony sold the service to Chicken Soup in 2019. Other Crackle Plus streaming platforms include AVOD Popcornflix, Truli (religious content) and SVOD Pivotshare.

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“Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment also acquires and distributes original video content, much like we began doing through Redbox Entertainment,” Smith wrote in the memo.

The executive called AVOD a “massive market opportunity” in AVOD, with Chicken Soup offering substantial capabilities, including technology and existing ad relationships, to Redbox.

“Crackle Plus has one of the top groups of AVOD networks, with over 40 million monthly active users,” Smith wrote. “With Redbox’s more than 40 million loyal members, our library of content, and ad-supported free streaming television (FAST), we will be able to offer consumers unparalleled choices for phenomenal value.”

In the memo, Galen acknowledged that many Redbox employees would have questions about the future of the company and their jobs.

“I want to be transparent – we don’t have all the answers today, but we’ll do our best to provide you with what we know,” Smith wrote. “Many questions about how the two companies will be integrated are still open and will be resolved over the coming months once the agreement is finalized, which is expected to take place in the second half of 2022.”

Smith said he plans to address all issues of the corporate merger at a future corporate town hall.

“I encourage you all to join us, and we will do our best to answer your questions. We’ll also share a list of frequently asked questions to answer some we think you might have. I want to sincerely thank you for everything you have done for Redbox. It hasn’t always been easy, but this team is resilient and we couldn’t have achieved this result without you.

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