ScreenHits, a startup that runs an online marketplace for global buyers of TV shows and films, is gearing up to launch a service that will let consumers watch television pilots that haven’t been picked up — promising a new revenue stream for producers and studios.
The direct-to-consumer Pilot Showcase is slated to go live July 1, 2014, with 50 pilots that will remain on the service for six months, a window designed to ensure talent is still attached. In addition, ScreenHits’ consumer platform will offer 200 titles refreshed every quarter from partners including Fox International Channels, Hasbro, Turner Broadcasting System, Studio Hamburg, eOne, Lionsgate, Relativity Media, Myriad Pictures, Venevisión and Telemundo Media.
“The Pilot Showcase provides a new opportunity to give life to broken pilots and allows producers and studios to recoup some of their investment through showing their pilots,” ScreenHits CEO Rose Adkins said.
Consumers will be able to watch studio pilots, served with advertising, as well as pre-order the TV shows if they end up being greenlit as full series.
ScreenHits has nearly 1,300 active buyers on the business-to-business version of the service, according to Adkins. In addition to broadcasters and distributors, ScreenHits is working with advertisers who can pick pilots to back and finance for completion as branded entertainment.
Adkins founded London-based ScreenHits company in 2012, having previously worked at branded-entertainment firm Adkins Group and NBCUniversal. The 10-employee company recently raised $1.2 million from angel investors.