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Lionsgate Licenses 200-Film Library to Defy Media’s Break (Exclusive)

Lionsgate has licensed a 200-film library to Break, a humor-centric digital brand in which the studio has a minority equity stake.

“Winter’s Bone,” “Margin Call,” “Requiem for a Dream” and “Glengarry Glen Ross” are among the movies included in the pact. Financial terms of the deal, which is non-exclusive, were not disclosed.

The free ad-supported content is available at Break.com and apps in the iOS, Android and Roku platforms. Xbox is expected to soon add the Break app as well.

The pact marks the entry of Break, a property owned by Defy Media, into long-form programming licensing, which could eventually include film from other studios and/or TV programming. Break has already moved into original programming that can run anywhere from two to 50 minutes per episode. The brand started out as a website for user-generated humor video content but has gotten more ambitious in recent years.

Break is branching out to take advantage of the increased amount of time users are spending with its content, particularly via a branded app accessible to connected devices. Marketers are also creating more demand for video inventory, which is seeing higher CPMs than ever as consumers get used to tapping over-the-top content outside the pay-TV universe.

The deal represents a small piece of Lionsgate’s 15,000-film vault, but represents an effort by the studio to match the right titles with digital hubs that offer big but targeted audience profiles. Break has 70 million unique visitors per month and 22 million downloads of its app.

“We try to tailor the films to the right platform,” said Jim Packer, president of worldwide television and digital distribution at Lionsgate. “You’re not going to see an older black-and-white movie from our library on Break.”

While Lionsgate took a stake in Break seven years ago, the pact represents the first content partnership between the two entities beyond using the website to help promote the studio’s young male-skewing theatrical titles.

“When Lionsgate first invested in Break, there was a shared belief that break could one day be similar to a on modern-day cable channel, a combination of Spike and Comedy Central for the next generation,” said Keith Richman, president of Defy Media.

Defy was formed in October 2013 when Break, which was founded in 2004, merged with Alloy Digital. Other brands in the Defy portfolio include Smosh, Screen Junkies and Clevver.

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