Defy Media is launching ScreenJunkies Plus — its first Internet subscription VOD service — hoping fans of the free site will pay $5 monthly to watch original shows celebrating and spoofing the world TV and film.
Among the initial 11 original programs on ScreenJunkies Plus will be the site’s first scripted original series, “Interns of F.I.E.L.D,” a parody of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” about the secret superhero organization’s overworked and underpaid interns. The show is slated to premiere on the service in December and will feature TV and film personalities including Jamie Kennedy, Jonathan Lipnicki and Casper Van Dien.
ScreenJunkies Plus, set to launch Nov. 17 on the web and iOS and Android apps, comes from the creative team behind popular series Honest Trailers, Movie Fights! and ScreenJunkies Show. The service is $4.99 per month, with options to purchase a $59 annual subscription or a premium $99 one-year package that includes merchandise.
Current ScreenJunkies programming on YouTube will remain free on the channel. The aim of the premium service will be to tap into audiences hungry for a steady stream of exclusive, pop-culture-based entertainment.
“This is about us super-serving our audience,” said Keith Richman, president of Defy Media. “People say this is a niche, but if it’s everyone who goes sees ‘The Avengers’ or watches ‘The Walking Dead,’ that’s a pretty big niche.”
Longer term, Defy Media will look to bundle ScreenJunkies Plus with other SVOD service, according to Richman. “We think with the value we are providing the audience, this service will become part of other people’s packages or opportunities,” he said. ScreenJunkies Plus will not necessarily exclude ads, Richman added.
Since launching in 2008, ScreenJunkies has reached over 1 billion lifetime views on YouTube, with 4.9 million subscribers and averaging 2.4 million views per video. The subscription service is overseen by ScreenJunkies GM Michael Chiang and Andy Signore, creator of Honest Trailers, both of whom are based in L.A.
Other players looking to capitalize on SVOD services stocked with digital-first video include Chernin Group/AT&T’s Otter Media (including multichannel network Fullscreen), Vessel and Google with YouTube Red. Richman said Defy Media considered different distribution options, and decided to retain launch the direct-to-consumer subscription service itself.
For ScreenJunkies Plus, Defy has recruited digital personalities to create new shows. Those include YouTube star and film critic Jeremy Jahns (900,000 subscribers), movie reviewer Chris Stuckmann (460,000 subs) and the team behind animated parody channel How It Should Have Ended (5.4 million subs).
Original series slated for ScreenJunkies Plus include:
“TV Fights!”: Real fights over the best (and worst) TV shows of the past, present and future, from the team behind Movie Fights!
“Mundy Night Raw!”: Film critics Dan Murrell and Nick Mundy debate the week’s biggest new releases and undiscovered cinema classics.
“Movie Games with Jeremy Jahns”: Bi-monthly movie-trivia series hosted by Jahns.
“First & Worst”: Movie critic Chris Stuckmann and a guest debate the best and worst films of individual filmmakers and actors.
“After Credits”: From the How It Should Have Ended team, series imagines post-credit scenes for films that never had them.
“Does It Hold Up?”: Honest Trailers writer Spencer Gilbert hosts talk show discussing whether older films still hold up today.
“The ScreenJunkies Universe”: Live show that provides sneak peeks of new shows, Q&As with cast members and responses to viewer emails.
“Honest Trailer Commentaries”: Featuring commentary tracks, outtakes and alternate jokes.
“Honest Trailer Exclusive!”: Subscribers can exclusively vote on which film is next to get the “Honest” treatment.
“After The Fight!”: Aftershow for new “MovieFights!” featuring special guests discussing who won, who should have won and letting fans ask their most burning questions.
Watch the promo trailer for ScreenJunkies Plus: