Cinedigm, which has been steadily transforming itself from a cinema equipment concern to a streaming specialist, is significantly expanding its digital reach by acquiring video platform company Future Today.
In exchange for $45 million in cash and $15 million in common stock, Cinedigm will increase its OTT footprint to more than 7.6 million monthly active users and 67 million total app installations.
Future Today, which operates one of the largest collections of ad-supported video-on-demand channels, generates positive net income and cash flow, according to the announcement of the deal. The company’s revenues increased by almost 150% in calendar year 2018 to an estimated $23.9 million in full-year revenues.
Established in 2006 by founder and CEO Alok Ranjan and Co-Founder Vikrant Mathur, Menlo Park, CA-based Future Today owns and operates more than 700 content channels with more than 60 million app installs. It manages more than 200,000 film, television and digital content assets that currently receive more than 85 million video views per month in a variety of categories including entertainment, movies, food and lifestyle, animation and kids.
Alok Ranjan and Vikrant Mathur will continue to lead and operate Future Today as co-presidents and will enter into long-term employment agreements with Cinedigm after the deal closes.
Future Today’s cloud-based technology and ad-based monetization platform manages OTT services for more than 350 content owners, producers, distributors and media companies. Future Today has also developed several brands of note in the ad-supported marketplace, including Fawesome Movies, a general entertainment movies and television service, and HappyKidsTV, the No. 1 free kid’s service in the connected TV marketplace. Future Today also provides services for key partners including Filmrise, WatchFreeFlix, and hundreds more.
Future Today has also produced and owns in perpetuity more than 3,500 original videos using cost-effective capabilities in India, a portfolio which generates 25% of the company’s total video views.
“Building our stake in the rapidly surging AVOD business is a top priority for Cinedigm, and the acquisition of Future Today instantaneously transforms our Company into the world’s largest provider of premium AVOD content by adding an established, fast growing and active platform that includes a high volume of some of the most highly sought-after premium OTT programming,” Cinedigm Chairman and CEO Chris McGurk said. “Just as important, the technology and distribution assets we will gain will provide us with immediate launch points for expansion into China and India. Future Today’s low-cost production assets combined with our low-risk, co-production model will enable us to provide exclusive, original premium content more quickly and with less risk than our competitors.”
AVOD, once a marginal area of the subscription-dominated streaming landscape, has gained more legitimacy of late with NBCUniversal announcing a major AVOD rollout for 2020 and Viacom paying $340 million for Pluto TV. Tubi, one of the longest-established players in AVOD, is in the midst of a major expansion and investment in content.