- For the Bauhaus album, see Crackle – The Best of Bauhaus. For the fifth derivative of the position vector with respect to time, see Crackle (physics).
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Crackle (formerly known as Grouper) is a digital network and studio featuring commercially supported streaming video content in Flash Video format. It is owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment, and its content consists primarily of Sony's library of films and television shows. Crackle provides its content through a web syndication network, including YouTube, Hulu, AOL, MySpace, and mobile service providers. Although advertised as "uncut," that statement refers to the content being uncensored. All streaming video is interrupted throughout with commercial advertisements, similar to watching a film on broadcast television.
In July 2007, Sony purchased the online video site Grouper for $65 million. In the same month, Sony announced that Grouper would be re-branded and re-purposed as Crackle, a multi-platform video-entertainment network and studio, featuring full-length movies and television shows from Sony’s library, as well as producing original content made just for the Internet. In October 2008, Sony moved Crackle to its Culver City base.
In April 2009, Crackle blocked access to anyone not in the United States of America. On June 8, 2010, Crackle announced it had opened up access to selected content on the site to viewers in the UK, Canada and Australia. In March 2011, Crackle launched on PS3, Roku boxes, Sony Blu-ray players and Bravia TVs. and in April 2011, Crackle launched a mobile app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch users. In July 2011, the Crackle app was launched for the Android platform On October 5, 2011, Microsoft partnered with Crackle, to bring the channel to Xbox 360 Live. On October 17, 2011, Crackle announced a Halloween event called Kill Count, which kept count of the number of kills a viewer watched in their horror movie section.
Crackle currently features original content and licenses movies from Columbia Pictures, TriStar Pictures, Screen Gems, and Sony Pictures Classics and TV shows from Sony Pictures Television.
As of October 2011
, the Crackle app has totaled 5 million downloads worldwide.
On January 17, 2012, Crackle added the world's largest anime television network, Animax, also owned by Sony, to its main United States and Canada channels.
In Australia, Days of our Lives is available to watch for free and on-demand at Crackle.com, as well as across Crackle's apps for mobile devices, connected TVs and game consoles. Crackle picked up where Nine Network (who cancelled its contract with the show after 45 years) left off on June 17, 2013. In its first week, Crackle released 10 episodes to Australian viewers. Seven new episodes are released each Monday.
In addition to content from Sony Pictures, Crackle features original content, including Trenches and The Bannen Way, which attracted 8.4 million views in February 2010, and more than 13 million views as of March 2010. At the series conclusion it had set records for views for a web series.
In 2011, Crackle began focusing on long-form programming. According to Eric Berger, “Short-form episodes had their role on sites like YouTube and other places as the market was developing. But we think we can create something longer with real talent behind it that can sit side by side with our great library." Such projects include Monster Heist, Strand Street, and The Unknown, an anthology series that tells paranormal stories.
The latest scripted series produced by Crackle is Chosen, a six-episode action-adventure created by Ben Ketai and starring Milo Ventimiglia. Chosen was released online on January 17, 2013, and was later released on DVD.
Crackle also has distributed live streaming events, including the This Is It movie preview and a live streaming concert event for Wyclef Jean.
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- ^ Miller, Liz Shannon (9 February 2010). "The Bannen Way Hits 8.4M Streams Since its Crackle Debut". NewTeeVee.org. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
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- ^ Warren, Christina (16 October 2009). "Michael Jackson’s This Is It Premiere: Where to Watch It Online". Mashable. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
- ^ "International Superstar and Humanitarian Wyclef Jean In Live Online Performance for Sony make.believe on Wednesday Night, February 10, 2010". NewsBlaze.com. 8 February 2010. Retrieved 12 May 2010.