Fullscreen Media will shut down its subscription video on demand service in January 2018, adding to a small but growing casualties in the SVOD arena.
“We came to the conclusion that funding SVOD — a longer-term investment — was limiting our ability to invest in our dynamic Creator, Brand, and Rooster Teeth divisions that have more established scale and immediate impact, George Strompolos, CEO and founder of Fullscreen, explained Monday (November 13) in a memo that was also shared on Medium.
Fullscreen launched its SVOD service in April 2016. About 25 employees are being let go as a result, according to multiple news outlets. Variety reported that the company will likely sell or mothball some projects in the works that have not launched, such as Alive in Denver.
Fullscreen, owned the Otter Media (the AT&T-The Chernin Group J.V., hasn’t revealed sub numbers, but Strompolos noted that “hundreds of thousands” had become paying subscribers.
Fullscreen’s SVOD joins others that have shut down or are in the process of doing so. Seeso, the NBCU comedy offering, closed its doors on November 8. Lionsgate is winding down the Comic-Con HQ subscription video service, but plans to license content to other platforms, according to Variety.
Though some individual SVOD services are feeling some pain, aggregated offerings like VRV and Amazon Channels continue to tweak or broaden their offerings with partners. Additionally, some SVOD services are starting to augment distribution by finding homes on MVPD set-top environments.
Here is the full memo from Strompolos:
When we set out to launch our own SVOD service, we knew it would be a huge challenge. We wanted to provide a new platform for the breakthrough creators, personalities and storytellers of social entertainment — and the fans who love them.
A lot went right. Our talented team built and launched a best-in-class OTT product experience from scratch. We created bold, first-of-its-kind original programming that resonated with young fans. Millions downloaded our app and hundreds of thousands became paying subscribers.
Despite our momentum, we’ve made the difficult decision to shut down the Fullscreen SVOD service in January 2018. We came to the conclusion that funding SVOD — a longer-term investment — was limiting our ability to invest in our dynamic Creator, Brand, and Rooster Teeth divisions that have more established scale and immediate impact. I shared this news in person with the core SVOD team earlier today.
Many smart, creative people gave so much in pursuit of this ambitious project, from our staff to our talent and partners. In addition, many young fans supported us by subscribing with their own hard-earned money. We thank you all for giving us a chance.
Going forward, we will double-down on our mission to empower creators and bring brands closer to fans. The award-winning product experience and technology we’ve developed over the past two years will be valuable as we build new brands and content offerings in the future. We will continue to identify and invest in talented creators and make ambitious bets to push the space forward. It’s in our DNA. I will share more details about our evolving strategy at the December all-hands meeting.