Crackle (service)

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Crackle, LLC
FormerlyGrouper (2004–2007)
Sony Crackle (2018–2019)
TypeSubsidiary
IndustryEntertainment
PredecessorGrouper
Founded2004 (as Grouper)
May 4, 2007; 14 years ago (2007-05-04) (as Crackle)
FoundersJosh Felser, Dave Samuel, Mike Sitrin, and Aviv Eyal
Headquarters,
United States
Area served
United States
ServicesDigital streaming
OwnerChicken Soup for the Soul
Websitewww.crackle.com

Crackle is a video streaming platform owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. Its library consists of original content and acquired programming. The service is available in 21 countries on connected devices including mobile, tablets, smart TVs, desktop, and gaming consoles. Crackle is also available as in-flight entertainment and in some hotel chains.

Founded as an independent company and originally known as Grouper, the service was purchased by Sony Pictures in 2006 which renamed it Crackle in July 2007, and then Sony Crackle in January 2018. Sony sold a majority stake to Chicken Soup for the Soul in March 2019, which immediately renamed it Crackle. Later, Sony sold its remaining stake to the same company.

History[edit]

2004–2006[edit]

Josh Felser, Dave Samuel, Mike Sitrin, and Aviv Eyal founded the online video site Grouper in 2004. In August 2006, Sony purchased Grouper for $65 million, later renaming it Crackle.[1][2]

2007–2013[edit]

In July 2007, Sony rebranded Grouper as Crackle, a multi-platform video-entertainment network and studio. Early features included movies and television shows from Sony's library, and original content made for the Internet[3][4][1][2] In late 2008, Crackle was moved to Sony's Culver City base, to be included in the studio's digital content operations.[2]

In March 2011, Crackle launched streaming services on Bravia TVs, PS3, Roku boxes, and Sony Blu-ray players.[5] The following month, Crackle announced that it would release apps for Android and iOS systems later that June.[6][7][8] Crackle also partnered with Xbox Live, making its content available for Xbox 360.[8] In June 2013, Crackle released an app for the BlackBerry 10 platform.[9][10] In December 2013, Crackle made its content available for the Apple TV set-top box.[11][12]

Logo used from 2008 to 2018

In January 2012, Crackle added Animax to its content, available to viewers in the US and Canada.[8][13] Towards the end of 2013, the Animax branding was removed. In Australia, Crackle became the free-to-air home of Sony's popular American soap opera Days of Our Lives, after the television broadcaster Nine Network axed the series after 45 years.[14]

Several anime shows from Funimation (some outsourced from Animax and others, since November 20, 2013, directly from Funimation) are streamed on Crackle.[15]

2014–2017[edit]

On April 1, 2014, Sony Pictures Television ceased its Crackle operations in the UK and Australia without prior notice.[16][17] Crackle UK had struggled against competitors like LoveFilm and Netflix.[16] NBCUniversal Television & New Media Distribution struck a deal with Crackle to add over 140 NBCUniversal movies to the Crackle library.[18][19][20]

On April 30, 2014, Crackle announced it would begin carrying Sports Jeopardy!, a sports-themed version of the game show Jeopardy!. Dan Patrick hosts the series.[21] Approximately one week after the cancellation of the theatrical release of The Interview, in the aftermath of the Sony hack, the New York Post reported that Sony would release the movie for free, on Crackle.[22]

On April 14, 2015, Crackle announced a new feature dubbed "Always On"; an ad-supported, internet television channel similar to Vevo TV. Crackle announced its first animated series, SuperMansion; their first hour-long scripted drama, The Art of More; and Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser, a sequel to 2001's Joe Dirt.[23]

On October 8, 2015, Crackle premiered SuperMansion, a stop-motion animated comedy television series created by Matthew Senreich and Zeb Wells. The series stars Bryan Cranston, Heidi Gardner, Tucker Gilmore, Keegan-Michael Key, Tom Root, Yvette Nicole Brown, Wells, and Jillian Bell.

In 2017, Crackle announced the platform had greenlit an original drama The Oath, written and created by former Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy Joe Halpin. Executive produced by Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson and his G-Unit Film & Television Inc., the drama series stars Sean Bean, Ryan Kwanten, Cory Hardrict, Arlen Escarpeta, Katrina Law, and J.J. Soria, and premiered on March 8, 2018.

In November 2017, Eric Berger became Sony Pictures Television Networks' chief digital officer in addition to his role as GM at Crackle.[24]

2018–present[edit]

Sony Crackle logo used from 2018 to 2019

On January 14, 2018, the company announced that the name of the service would be changed to Sony Crackle in spring 2018.[25]

On March 28, 2019, it was announced that Sony would sell a majority stake of Sony Crackle to Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, with the service renamed "Crackle".[26][27]

On December 15, 2020, Sony sold its remaining stake in Crackle, giving Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment full control.[28]

Programming[edit]

Crackle is owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. Other Crackle Plus VOD platforms include Popcornflix (AVOD), Truli (faith-based content), and Pivotshare (SVOD platform). Crackle features programming in the following genres: action, comedy, crime, drama, horror, and sci-fi.

Original programming[edit]

Movie and TV library[edit]

Crackle features films and TV shows, some of them on an exclusive basis, mainly from Sony Pictures and its subsidiaries, including Columbia Pictures, TriStar Pictures, Screen Gems, Sony Pictures Classics, and Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions.

Crackle also features “Crackle Original” series such as On the Ropes, Going from Broke, Hidden Heroes, The Oath, and Snatch. Crackle's content changes each month as titles are added and taken down.

Content partners[edit]

Availability[edit]

Crackle is available in 21 countries and in three languages: English, Portuguese, and Spanish.[29][10]

Crackle was launched in Canada in September 2010.[30] Beginning in late 2015, several of the service's original series were made available only through the local services Crave TV and Shomi.[31][32] Following the closure of Shomi in fall 2016, new productions continued to be released exclusively on Crave TV, as well as Amazon Prime Video and Super Channel (Canada).[33][34][35] Crackle's Canadian operations were shut down on June 28, 2018, and its content was moved to Bell Media's CTV Movies and CTV Throwback services.[36] Despite Crackle being a Sony owned service, the successor CTV app has not launched on Sony's PlayStation or Smart TV platforms, but ironically has become available on competitor Microsoft's Xbox One console and Samsung's Smart TVs.

As of late 2016, Crackle in Latin America was only available as an ad-free paid service.[37][38] Subscribers were required to have a pay-TV service provider that had partnered with Sony Crackle in order to access the service.[39] Crackle was discontinued in Latin America on April 30, 2019.[40]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Sony's Grouper becomes Crackle, a pathway to Hollywood". VentureBeat. 2007-01-16. Retrieved 2011-10-24.
  2. ^ a b c "Sony restructuring Crackle online video hub". Reuters. 29 October 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  3. ^ "NewFronts: Sony's Crackle Takes David Arquette to 'Cleaners'". Variety. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Sony Pictures Bringing Online Video to Boxee". Mashable. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  5. ^ Lawler, Richard (2011-04-18). "Crackle starts streaming all of its free movies to Roku, PS3, Sony TVs and Blu-ray players". Engadget. AOLtech. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
  6. ^ Edgar, Cervantes (2011-04-18). "Watch movies and shows on your phone free with Crackle". Android and Me. Retrieved 2011-10-21.
  7. ^ "Sony's new Crackle app for iPad and iPhone lets you take 'Seinfeld' with you". USA Today. 18 April 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  8. ^ a b c "Crackle bringing free movies to Xbox Live". The Gamers' Temple. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  9. ^ "Sony's Crackle arrives on BlackBerry 10, reminds us to not watch Bad Boys II". Engadget. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Crackle streaming TV and Movies app arrives for BlackBerry 10". CrackBerry. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  11. ^ "Apple Adds ABC, Bloomberg, Crackle, and KOR TV Channels to Apple TV". MacRumors. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
  12. ^ Ingraham, Nathan (2013-12-11). "Apple TV adds new channels for ABC, Crackle, Bloomberg, and KORTV". The Verge. Retrieved 2014-04-15.
  13. ^ Team (17 January 2012). "Sony's Crackle Adds Animax Anime Channel". The Deadline.
  14. ^ "Nine axes Days of our Lives after 45 years". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2014-04-15.
  15. ^ "Crackle Service Streams Funimation Anime on Xbox Live". Anime News Network. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  16. ^ a b Adie, Nigel (March 31, 2014). "Sony Pictures Television shutting down Crackle". cable.co.uk. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  17. ^ Briel, Robert (March 25, 2014). "Sony UK closes down Crackle VOD". broadbandtvnews.com. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
  18. ^ "NBCUniversal Inks Film Streaming Deal With Sony's Crackle". Deadline. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  19. ^ "G'Day Crackle! Sony's Online Network Opens Up to Australia, UK". TubeFilter. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  20. ^ Adie, Nigel. "Sony Pictures Television shutting down Crackle". Cable.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-04-15.
  21. ^ "Sony making a sports version of Jeopardy!". Associated Press. April 30, 2014. Archived from the original on May 2, 2014.
  22. ^ Sauchelli, Dana (21 December 2014). "Sony plans to release 'The Interview' on Crackle for free". New York Post. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  23. ^ "Crackle Bridges The Gap Between Linear TV And On Demand With New Robust Slate Of Originals And Revolutionary 'Always On' Experience For Connected TV". Broadcaster Magazine. 14 April 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
  24. ^ Spangler, Todd (2017-11-14). "Crackle GM Eric Berger Tapped for Expanded Digital Role at Sony Pictures Television Networks". Variety. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  25. ^ Ramos, Dino-Ray (January 14, 2018). "Crackle Officially Changes Name To Sony Crackle - TCA". Deadline. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  26. ^ Hayes, Dade (March 28, 2019). "Sony Crackle Gets Reboot Via Chicken Soup For The Soul Joint Venture; Eric Berger To Depart After Deal Close". Deadline. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  27. ^ "Sony Sells Crackle Majority Stake to Chicken Soup for the Soul | Hollywood Reporter". www.hollywoodreporter.com. Retrieved 2020-11-12.
  28. ^ "Sony Trades Crackle Equity For Stock; Full Control Of Streamer Goes To Chicken Soup For The Soul Entertainment". Deadline. December 15, 2020. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  29. ^ "Crackle at Sony Pictures Television". iab. Retrieved 20 November 2013.
  30. ^ Vlessing, Etan (September 7, 2010). "Sony's Crackle comes to Canada". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  31. ^ "The Art of More to Debut in Canada on shomi". Worldscreen. November 12, 2015. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  32. ^ Daly, Ryan (April 18, 2016). "The Dudes From Robot Chicken Have A New Series On Shomi & It's Definitely Worth Your Time". CJQQ-FM (92.1 Rock). Rogers Media. Retrieved February 23, 2017.
  33. ^ "Crime Drama SNATCH Becomes the Latest CraveTV Original, Beginning April 7". Newswire. Crave TV. March 17, 2017. Retrieved March 17, 2017.
  34. ^ Hardy, Ian (December 14, 2016). "Amazon Prime Video in Canada: Complete TV and movie list". MobileSyrup. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  35. ^ Elmes, John (January 11, 2018). "Super Channel buys Mercedes, takes Oath". C21 Media. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  36. ^ Roettgers, Janko (27 June 2018). "Sony Crackle Shutting Down in Canada". Variety. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  37. ^ @todotvnews. "How Crackle Moved from OTT to SVOD". Todotvnews. Archived from the original on 2018-10-26. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  38. ^ "¿Por qué Crackle ya no es gratis?". Ayuda de Crackle. Archived from the original on 4 September 2018. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  39. ^ "¿Qué necesito para ver Crackle?". Ayuda de Crackle. Archived from the original on 4 September 2018. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
  40. ^ "Sony to Shut Down Crackle in Latin America". The Hollywood Reporter. January 17, 2019. Retrieved January 13, 2020.

External links[edit]