×

Hallmark enters movie streaming biz

Greeting-card giant offering family-friendly films

Hallmark has a gift for Netflix and other subscription VOD services just in time for the holidays: competition.

The greeting-card giant has quietly unveiled Hallmark Instant Streaming, which features a collection of family-friendly movies and documentaries that include the company’s own massive library of Hallmark Hall of Fame titles.

Hallmark will be available to access for $4.99 per month or for an annual membership fee of $35.99.

That’s a markedly lower price than existing SVOD services like Netflix, which appears to have a far bigger catalog of titles.

Hallmark has already begun promoting the service throughout Hallmark.com. The service is offering free access for one week as of Friday.

Hallmark Instant Streaming will also be availabe as an app on streaming devices via Roku, Boxee and iPad.

Hundreds of movies have been produced by Hallmark Hall of Fame going back to 1951, collecting 79 Emmy Awards over the years. In addition to airing on broadcast television, Hallmark’s movies have been the backbone of the programming lineup for the cable network Hallmark Channel.

Popular on Variety

Other content partners listed as part of Hallmark Instant Streaming include Bud Greenspan Films, Dale Carnegie Training, Odyssey Networks, Thomas Nelson Publishers, and Successories. No major studio partners are listed.

Also part of Hallmark Instant Streaming is SpiritClips, a subscription service for family-friendly short films, movies and documentaries that Hallmark acquired in March. SpiritClips founder Rob Fried, a prolific film producer whose credits include “Rudy” and “Hoosiers,” is listed as the executive in charge of the streaming service.

While Hallmark brings significant brand clout into digital distribution, it won’t have the family-friendly niche to itself. In addition to existing players like Netflix that are already well-represented in that genre, Toys R Us announced its own entry targeting the same audience last month, with a library of 4,000 movies.

In other SVOD news, details have begun leaking about Redbox Instant, a streaming service expected later this year from the kiosk giant and Verizon. The companies are said to be testing a monthly subscription price of $6, just below what Netflix charges.

More Digital

  • Medici TV Show

    Vuulr Online Rights Market Makes Global Expansion at NATPE

    Singapore-based Vuulr, an online content marketplace for film and TV rights, is expanding from regional to global operations. The move was announced ahead of NATPE, one of the oldest face-to-face TV rights markets, this week launching its tenth edition in Miami, Florida (Jan 21-23). The Vuulr platform is free to use for buyers and for [...]

  • Loic Barche on Short 'The Atomic

    Loic Barche on Short 'The Atomic Adventure,' Upcoming Feature Debut 'Feu de Paille'

    “The Atomic Adventure,” a contender in UniFrance’s online MyFrenchFilmFestival, is the third short from Loïc Barché (“Goliath,” “Le Commencement”). Variety talked to the director about the short, and his feature debut “Feu de Paille.” “The Atomic Adventure,” produced by young French outfits Punchline Cinéma and Leonis Productions, is set in 1961 in Algeria, where France [...]

  • The Isle of the Dead

    UniFrance Puts Spotlight on Emerging French VR Sector at Rendez-Vous

    France has a burgeoning eco-system of virtual reality and augmented reality producers, and is one of Europe’s leading VR/AR hubs. The UniFrance Rendez-Vous with French Cinema in Paris, a showcase of French projects that wraps Monday, included a VR/AR showcase, with recent projects demonstrated by Wide Management VR, VRrOOm and Atlas V. UniFrance’s online MyFrenchFilm [...]

  • Blood Oath

    MBC Studios to Launch Arabic TV Series 'Blood Oath,' Written by Britain's Tony Jordan

    MBC Studios, the Saudi-owned production unit of top Middle Eastern free-to-air satellite network MBC Group is set to launch “Blood Oath,” an Arabic crime series written by Britain’s Tony Jordan (“EastEnders,” “Life on Mars”). The announcement comes as Dubai-based MBC Studios, set up in 2018 and headed by former president of NBCUniversal International Peter Smith, is [...]

  • Spirited Away

    Netflix Secures International Rights to Studio Ghibli Animated Films

    The iconic animated features of Japan’s Studio Ghibli will be available in territories outside the U.S., Canada and Japan on Netflix starting in February. The move is a further change of position for the studio which has repeatedly resisted the idea that its beloved cartoons would be released on digital platforms. Netflix, sales agent Wild [...]

  • ‘Drag Race’ Producers Greenlight Two Docu-Series

    ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Producers Greenlight Two Docu-Series for SVOD (EXCLUSIVE)

    “RuPaul’s Drag Race” producer World of Wonder has greenlit two docu-series: “God Shave the Queens!” and an “Untitled Trinity Taylor Pageant Project.” The announcement will be made Sunday at the first-ever DragCon U.K. convention, which is taking place at Olympia, London. “God Shave the Queens!” features the first-ever cast of “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” and [...]

  • VRrOOm Launching VR Platform for Immersive,

    VRrOOm to Launch VR Platform for Immersive, Multi-User Streaming of Live Events

    French VR company VRrOOm is launching a six degrees of freedom (6-DoF) social VR platform that operates within the VRChat live platform, and enables multiple users to take part in live events, and includes the possibility of real-time photo-realistic representation. Louis Cacciuttolo founded VRrOOm in 2016 after working three years at THX in San Francisco. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content