Sony Crackle Shuts Down In Canada

Sony Crackle is halting operations in Canada this week, shifting its portfolio to two non-Sony VOD services.

The move follows last month’s news of a dozen layoffs at the ad-supported streaming service and heralds a new focus on the U.S. and Latin American markets.

In a statement obtained by Deadline, the company said, “As part of a recently announced partnership between Sony Pictures Television and Bell Media, some content that was available on Sony Crackle in Canada will be available on Bell Media’s new VOD services, CTV Movies and CTV Vault, later this year.  Sony Crackle will continue to focus on its longform original content in the U.S. and Latin America.  We want to thank the loyal viewers in Canada that have enjoyed our service throughout the years.”

Sony bought Crackle in 2006, when it was still known as Grouper. It has branched out from its origins as a home for Sony film and TV titles, adding originals like Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and The Art of More. In a sign of the intense competition in the streaming space, Comedians moved across the street to Netflix in 2017.

Crackle is among many streaming content purveyors facing a daunting challenge from the multiple billions being spent each year on content by Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and others. It is also somewhat unique in being an ad-supported, or “AVOD” service, meaning it offers a different experience than commercial-free, subscription services. In Latin American territories, it operates as a subscription service. Stateside, execs have touted the results Crackle has gotten for advertisers via its ad-supported approach.

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