Apps allow Shout to expand into digital entertainment

Shout Factory is expanding its focus beyond retro music and homevid releases to digital entertainment with the acquisition of Video Time Machine and its related apps.

Fred Seibert, the TV biz vet who heads toon shop Frederator Studios, is partnering with Shout to develop the paid app that allows users to access more than 25,000 vidclips that can be sorted by year and category such as movies, TV, news, sports, games and advertisements. The archive encompasses vintage commercials, movie trailers, TV show intros, musicvids and snippets of sports and news programs.

Shout’s deal with Video Time Machine developer Original Victories Inc. includes the related apps Political Time Machine and Holiday Time Machine.

Shout has been looking for avenues to expand into wholly digital entertainment offerings, said Shout co-founder Garson Foos. The Santa Monica-based indie, run by a clutch of Rhino Records alums, is known for its elaborate box sets aimed at aficionados and pop culture junkies.

“We have great pop cultural curatorial expertise, and we’ve been trying to find ways to translate that to the digital world,” Foos told Variety. “These apps are the first thing we’ve come across that really fits well with our skill set.”

Foos said that Shout and Seibert see plenty of opportunities to “slice and dice” different versions of the app according to subject matter and time frame. The property also lends itself to advertising and ecommerce tie-ins and possibly licensing opportunities for use by brands and other entities as a promotional resource.

At present the Time Machine apps are available only for Apple devices, but the partners intend to quickly develop an Android version.

“In its basic form (Time Machine apps) are a good business,” Foos said. “We’ll make money on it by putting out new cuts of the app and marketing them well. And then we think it could go in many different directions.”

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