SpiritClips, an Internet subscription video-on-demand service owned by Hallmark Cards targeting the kids-and-family demo, has renamed itself “Feeln” as the company expands its content lineup and tries to carve out a niche against the likes of Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.
The new name for the venture is pronounced “feelin'” (as in, “feelin’ groovy”). Feeln, which costs $4.99 monthly or $47.99 per year, offers about 1,000 titles. The previous SpiritClips moniker presented issues, mainly because consumers thought it was all short-form video whereas most of the content on the service comprises full-length feature films, according to founder and CEO Rob Fried.
“It’s more of a feel-good, quality film service — and it just happens it’s appropriate for families because of the nature of the content,” Fried said. “We perceive there to be a need for a co-viewing Internet movie service … with some of the other SVOD services, the percentage of pieces that are co-viewable are relatively low.”
Feeln has fewer than 500,000 subscribers, but its sub count is up tenfold over the past 18 months, according to Fried. The service is available the Web, on mobile phones and tablets, and on Roku streaming players, Samsung connected TVs and Microsoft Xbox 360 consoles.
The 70-employee Santa Monica-based company is owned by Hallmark Cards, and is unaffiliated with Crown Media, which operates the Hallmark Channel through a licensing agreement. Fried, a film producer whose credits include “Rudy” and “Hoosiers,” founded SpiritClips in 2007 and the Hallmark greeting-card company acquired it in 2012.
Feeln will face new competition early next year. Cinedigm plans to launch the Dove Movie Channel in the first quarter of 2015, a direct-to-consumer SVOD movie service, curated in partnership with the Dove Foundation, which provides ratings for family-friendly and faith-based content. The service will feature selections from Cinedigm’s library of movies as well as acquired content and original programming.
Titles available on Feeln’s service — which carries no advertising — include movies such as “Ghostbusters,” “Babe,” Liar Liar,” “Hook,” “Gandhi,” “Dances With Wolves,” “Jerry Maguire,” “Footloose,” “Grease,” “The Karate Kid” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” TV programming includes BBC’s “Blue Planet” and PBS content such as select episodes from Nova and filmmaker Ken Burns documentaries.
In addition, Feeln is the exclusive online-streaming destination for Hallmark’s “Hall of Fame” series of 60-plus made-for-TV movies including “Loving Leah,” “The Lost Valentine” and “My Sister’s Keeper.”
Moreover, the service features more than 80 original short films, written, cast, directed and produced by Feeln. The service expects to release a new original short weekly starting with “The Saint of Auschwitz,” billed as an inspiring look into the journey of a Catholic priest who sacrificed his life to protect fellow prisoners from Nazis during World War II.