Cinedigm has partnered with Los Angeles-based TV4 Entertainment to launch more “over-the-top” niche video channels delivered over the Internet to apps and streaming devices. The partnership will use Cinedigm’s library of film and TV episodes, streamed through “at least one” on-demand online channel using TV4’s video-distribution platform.
The initial channel, expected to launch later this year, will target children from preschool age to tweens. TV4’s platform reaches 100 million U.S. households and more than 300 million devices, the company said.
Over-the-top channels are proliferating quickly as content owners and technology partners try to stake out real estate in the online-video business with on-demand content that is financed by ads, subscriptions or on-demand transactions. The videos play on apps through smartphones, tablets, PCs, game consoles and streaming devices such as Roku and AppleTV.
Cinedigm already has among its offerings three OTT niche channels: Docurama, focused on documentaries and launched last year; CONtv, a partnership with Wizard World launching next month that features Comic-Con material; and DOVE Foundation, a faith-based channel set to launch in the middle of the year.
TV4 is already distributing a number of other niche OTT channels, including the All Warrior Network and Motorland, with plans to offer up to 30 channels by year-end.
“Cinedigm is uniquely well positioned to be a leader in the high-growth OTT business,” said Cinedigm CEO and Chairman Chris McGurk. “Our plan is to create a diversified portfolio of digital networks, launching several narrowcast channels each with a customized business model that maximizes the potential for success. Given TV4’s back-end technology and platforms, this is a win-win for our companies.”
TV4’s CEO Jon Cody said the approach and relatively low barriers to entry will allow the partners to quickly test the stickiness of several genres of programming to see what may work in a sustainable way.