New Robust Slate of Original Programming, Product Updates, and the Launch of its Branded Content Studio at 2022 NewFronts Announced by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment's Crackle Plus
Crackle Plus, a Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSSE) company and one of the largest operators of advertising-supported video-on-demand (AVOD) streaming services, took the virtual NewFronts stage today to unveil its upcoming slate of original and exclusive programming and its new Branded Content Studio.
This past month, Crackle Plus launched its highly anticipated Chicken Soup for the Soul AVOD streaming service, dedicated to featuring diverse, female-centric programming, offering over 5,000 content assets at launch, including many originals and exclusive content, both scripted and unscripted.
"What better time to seek positive change and create content that makes the world a better place, a mission pursued for over 30 years by our parent company Chicken Soup for the Soul. We want to invite advertisers to join us in developing content that matters. Our new Branded Content Studio offers a unique opportunity to integrate their brand right into the viewer experience," said Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus.
Additionally, Crackle Plus increased its access to 100K+ hours of original content from Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment sister company Screen Media Ventures, which recently acquired Locomotive Global and 1091 Pictures, following its acquisition last year of the film and television assets of Sonar Entertainment, Inc.
Screen Media also entered a multi-year content deal with BBC Studios that will bring more than 2,500 hours of premium content to all current and future Crackle Plus streaming services, kicking off the deal with exclusive rights to the Emmy-award winning series Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch, which is available now on Crackle.
On the product front, Crackle Plus has also been relaunching new versions of its Crackle AVOD apps and has seen tremendous growth in user engagement, with a 42% faster start time, 40% increased viewership and 200% decrease in ad exits. Crackle announced the upcoming launch of its Crackle Reward Program, where viewers will earn points for watching content on Crackle that can be redeemed for in-app rewards or services and/or products from its partners.
Additionally, Crackle Plus announced the addition of five linear channels to the Crackle Plus portfolio of FAST channels, which now includes:
· Crackle, the best of Crackle AVOD
· Crackle Classic, the best of Classic TV
· Popcornflix, the best of Popcornflix AVOD
· Chicken Soup for the Soul, the best of Chicken Soup for the Soul AVOD
· Echo Boom Sports, the best action sports films
· Unidentified, the largest collection of UFO and paranormal documentaries
· Surf Now TV, the best in Surf videos
· Truli, a collection of family friendly and faith-based content
· BlackPix, dedicated to Black filmmakers and impactful documentaries
Backed by the company's TV production division, Chicken Soup for the Soul Television Group, which produces a wide range of content, from the Mysterious Benedict Society on Disney Plus to Hunters on Amazon Prime, Crackle Plus announced the launch of its Branded Content Studio, designed to create new opportunities for advertisers to reach and connect with new audiences more effectively. It is being led by Crackle Plus' new head of branded entertainment, Michele Fino, an industry veteran who previously served as head of branded entertainment at Fremantle, Collective Digital Studio and worked with a number of not-for-profit organizations, including as the chief marketing officer of DoSomething.org. To further provide brands with more measurable data, Crackle has partnered with UpWave, the leading analytics platform for brand marketers across social, linear and digital.
Darren Olive, executive vice president, national advertising sales & strategy at Crackle Plus, added, "In addition to reaching over 40 million monthly active users, we are uniquely positioned to tailor opportunities based on what we know our advertising partners are looking for - targeted and flexible campaign opportunities. Our core demo continues to double down on quality free programming. They are also savvy decision-makers, so brands have the additional value proposition of collaborating with us at the outset of the creative process to more organically connect with viewers."
"Whether offering a different perspective like original series Inside The Black Box, or high octane suspense like the feature film Blast, we're incredibly thoughtful about the range of original and exclusive content programmed on Crackle and Chicken Soup for the Soul," said Jeff Meier, head of programming for Crackle Plus. "Our upcoming slate is reflective of our continued commitment to delivering high-quality content and providing something special for every viewer."
Crackle and Chicken Soup for the Soul's upcoming content offering of both scripted and unscripted programming that's designed to inspire and entertain viewers includes:
Chicken Soup for the Soul Originals
· Tia Mowry's Comfort Kitchen (Host Tia Mowry)
The six episode series will take viewers into her kitchen, teaching them to make all her
favorite home-cooked recipes, with celebrity guests pitching in to chop, stir, taste, and
· Simply Raymond Blanc (Host Raymond Blanc)
The most famous French chef in the UK shares his secrets from his own kitchen
· My Country Kitchen (Host Paul West)
Aussie chef turned farmer Paul West opens the door to his country cottage
· Smart Home Nation (Host Tanya Memme)
The series discovers some of the world's best innovators that bring convenience, security, efficiency, health, and wow factor to our everyday lives in the home
· City, Burbs, or Sticks
This half-hour series follows home buyers as they embark on a life journey to determine if their family is going to live in the city, the suburbs, or the country. More than a property search show, this is a rite of passage for growing families trying to figure out the next phase of their lives.
· Prue Leith's Great Garden Plot (Host Prue Leith)
South-African restaurateur Prue Leith and her husband John embark on the task of creating a garden at their new home, which is surrounded by rubble, rubbish, and overgrown vegetation
· Vacation Rental Potential (Host Holly Baker)
This Chicken Soup for the Soul original series visits top destinations across the country to help prospective homeowners choose potential vacation homes to buy and how to optimize their rental potential as future rentals.
· Love Stories Presents World's Best Weddings
Chicken Soup for the Soul Studios is working with Lovestories TV, the first and only media company powered by real wedding videos, to create a fantasy wedding destination for viewers who can never get enough romance on TV.
· Wedding Talk (Host Tara Lipinski)
Tara Lipinski hosts a magazine-style show that showcases all the incredible details that go into planning a perfect wedding. Tara brings in guests from the wedding industry to watch and comment on real life wedding videos while dishing on trends, themes, destinations, food and cocktails, and of course the dresses!
· Kili Big (documentary)
This documentary follows a group of plus-sized women from around the world as they attempt to climb the tallest freestanding mountain on the planet, Mount Kilimanjaro.
· Movies of the Month:
Every month, Chicken Soup for the Soul will premiere a Rom-Com original movie produced in partnership with ReelOne Entertainment, a top movie producer and distributor. These include A Snapshot of Forever, A Priceless Love, Love Afloat, Love for Starters, The Wedding Arrangement, Love in Full Swing, For the Love of Chocolate, A Slice of Chicago Romance, Love Map, Love at the Ranch, The Beauty of Love, Love Amongst the Stars.
Other Chicken Soup for the Soul Movies and Series
· Senior Moment (William Shatner, Jean Smart) - Exclusive
· Off the Rails (Kelly Preston, Judi Dench) - Exclusive
· Hope Gap (Annette Benning, Bill Nighy, Josh O'Connor) - Exclusive
· Tia Mowry's Quick Fix - Exclusive Episodes
· Hello, Hunnay (Jeannie Mai) - Exclusive Episodes
· All Things Adrienne (Adrienne Houghton) - Exclusive Episodes
· Tori Tried and True (Tori Spelling)
· Beauty School Knockout
· Inside the Black Box, Season Two (Joe Morton and Tracey Moore)
The critically acclaimed series comes back for a second season to continue giving a voice to black artists in Hollywood and the opportunity to tell their story.
· Going From Broke, Season Three (Executive Producer Ashton Kutcher, Co-Hosts Dan Rosensweig and Tonya Rapley)
This award-winning series co-produced by Ashton Kutcher and Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment returns for a third season to help a generation become the CEOs of their own lives.
· Flagrant (Michael Rapaport)
This original scripted dramatic series follows Rapaport 20 years after becoming a disgraced college basketball player caught gambling on his own team and being given an unlikely shot at redemption.
· The Wall, Seasons One and Two
When the body of a young dancer is found in a small mining town, Céline Trudeau, one of the town's most experienced detectives investigates the case.
In a Parisian parking lot, Sonia finds herself trapped in her car with her son and the daughter of her boyfriend Fred, who has been left outside, powerless to deal with the situation: an anti-tank mine has been set under the car.
· In the Vault, Seasons One and Two
One month into college, a freshman dies. Was it Murder? Or Suicide?
· Funny Girls
The series follows Laura and Rose as they produce sketches for a fictional comedy series, fielding ideas from their male bosses and their producer Pauline.
· The Frog
A Persian crime mystery which currently has one of the top IMDb scores of any recent show on TV
· Les Norton
Based on Robert G. Barrett's classic Australian novels, Les Norton is the story of a country lad's misadventures as a bouncer at a Kings Cross gambling den in the raucous 1980s. (starring Rebel Wilson)
Crackle AVOD Exclusives
· Sherlock - all 13 episodes
· Ripper Street - Crackle is the only AVOD to have all five seasons
· A Life in Ten Pictures' - Six documentaries - profiling some of the most important cultural figures of our time, from Freddie Mercury to John Lennon, Tupac Shakur to Muhammad Ali, Amy Winehouse to Elizabeth Taylor.
· Naked Singularity (John Boyega, Olivia Cooke)
· Eat Wheaties! (Tony Hale, Elisha Cuthbert)
The Crackle Plus streaming services are currently distributed through 70 touchpoints in the U.S. on platforms including Amazon FireTV, RokuTV, Apple TV, Smart TVs (Samsung, LG, Vizio), gaming consoles (PS4 and Xbox One), Plex, iOS and Android mobile devices and on desktops at Crackle.com, with previously announced plans to expand to over 90 touchpoints.
ABOUT CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL ENTERTAINMENT
Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. (Nasdaq: CSSE) (the "Company") operates video-on-demand (VOD) streaming services. The Company owns Crackle Plus, which owns and operates a variety of ad- supported VOD streaming services including Crackle, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Popcornflix, Popcornflix Kids, Truli, Pivotshare, Españolflix and FrightPix. The Company also acquires and distributes video content through its Screen Media and 1091 Pictures subsidiaries and produces original video content through the Chicken Soup for the Soul Television Group. Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment is a subsidiary of Chicken Soup for the Soul, LLC, which publishes the famous book series and produces super-premium pet food under the Chicken Soup for the Soul brand name.
This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements are based on various assumptions, whether or not identified in this press release, and on the current expectations of management and are not predictions of actual performance. Such assumptions involve a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to our core strategy, operating income and margin, seasonality, liquidity, including cash flows from operations, available funds, and access to financing sources, free cash flows, revenues, net income, profitability, stock price volatility, future regulatory changes, price changes, the ability of the Company's content offerings to achieve market acceptance, the Company's success in retaining or recruiting officers, key employees, or directors, the ability to protect intellectual property, the ability to complete strategic acquisitions, the ability to manage growth and integrate acquired operations, the ability to pay dividends, regulatory or operational risks, and general market conditions impacting demand for the Company's services. For a more complete description of these and other risks and uncertainties, please refer the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, filed with the SEC on March 31, 2022. If any of these risks materialize or our assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof and the Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the Company's expectations with respect thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any statement is based.