Shout! Factory Launches Free Video Service with Classic TV Shows, Movies

Initial lineup of 1,000 hours of content includes 'Mystery Science Theater 3000,' comedy specials and movies

Shout! Factory, a multiplatform entertainment company, has launched a free, ad-supported video-streaming service stocked initially with 1,000 hours of TV shows — including episodes of cult classic “Mystery Science Theater 3000” — movies, comedy specials and other programming.

The new service, Shout! Factory TV, has a business model similar to Sony’s Crackle and the free version of Hulu’s service. It’s available on the Web at ShoutFactoryTV.com as well as on Roku set-tops; the company said it plans to expand to additional connected devices soon.

The programming on the Internet-video service is culled from Shout’s library of entertainment licensed from major studios, indie producers and others including Westchester Films, Timeless Media Group and Scream Factory.

Shout president and co-founder Garson Foos said the new service is aimed at diversifying the company’s revenue so that it’s not as reliant on DVD sales of its library.

DVDs are “still a good business for us, but digital growth is undeniable, and erosion of DVD sales is accepted,” he said. “We’ve been succeeding in acquiring digital rights on a lot of content… but the big household-name providers like Netflix and Hulu are not as interested in niche, library content, which is where we focus.”

Content in the initial lineup includes 30-plus episodes of “Mystery Science Theater 3000”; animated comedy series “Home Movies” from Adult Swim; “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show”; “Father Knows Best”; “Dennis the Menace”; “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis”; and “The Ernie Kovacs Show.”

Specials include Steve Martin’s “Comedy Is Not Pretty” and “Steve Martin: Wild and Crazy Guy,” as well as “Mel Brooks: Make a Noise.” Films include 16 titles from Werner Herzog, a selection of Roger Corman movies, the Marx Brothers’ “A Night in Casablanca,” “A Room With a View,” “Hoop Dreams” and Volker Schlondorff’s 1985 “Death of a Salesman,” starring Dustin Hoffman.

“We want to be the deep-fan, cult-audience channel,” Foos said.

Currently, the Shout! Factory TV service offers about 1,000 hours of movies, series and specials. The company expects to add roughly 200 hours per month of new content, while cycling other titles out of rotation. On the ad-sales front, Shout has partnered with Hulu as well as other third-party ad exchanges.

To market Shout! Factory TV, the company plans to target its 300,000 followers on social media and its database of 100,000 email subscribers, and will promote it via its YouTube channels.

The service is powered by New York-based startup Zype, a white-label video-streaming platform provider whose other customers include Konami Digital Entertainment.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Andrew MorseVariety's Entertainment & Techonology Summit,

    Listen: CNN Digital Chief Says Trump Doesn't Drive Traffic Success

    No subject might get as much attention across CNN’s digital properties as Donald Trump, but that doesn’t mean the news network is dependent on him for web traffic. Andrew Morse, executive VP and general manager of the AT&T-owned company’s digital operations, pointed to recent coverage of natural disasters and international incidents as more potent audience [...]

  • Jonah Hill attends the press conference

    Instagram Debuts Jonah Hill’s ‘Un-filtered’ Bullying Docu-Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Facebook’s Instagram, as part of its anti-bullying initiatives, funded a new series directed by Jonah Hill featuring teens and young adults talking about their experiences with bullying. The four-episode “Un-filtered” goes live Wednesday (Sept. 18) on Instagram’s IGTV channel on its mobile app and the web. In the unscripted series, Hill interviews people aged 13-25 [...]

  • Plex

    Plex Signs Up Lionsgate for Upcoming Ad-Supported Video Service

    Media center app maker Plex has struck a deal with Lionsgate to add some of the studio’s movies and TV shows to its upcoming ad-supported video service. The news comes just weeks after Plex announced a similar deal with Warner Bros. “Lionsgate is one of the biggest names in the business and we know our [...]

  • Comcast Xfinity Flex

    Comcast Drops $5 Monthly Fee for Xfinity Flex Video-Streaming Set-Top for Broadband Customers

    Comcast will hand out one free set-top box for broadband subscribers to access Xfinity Flex, its video-streaming product for internet-only customers, as it looks to punch up the value of its high-speed internet business. Brian Roberts, Comcast’s chairman and CEO, announced the new strategy at Goldman Sachs’ Communacopia conference Wednesday in New York. “One of [...]

  • Facebook Portal TV

    Facebook Announces $149 Portal TV Device, 2 New Portal Smart Displays

    Facebook wants you to put a camera into your living room: The company officially unveiled its Portal TV device Wednesday that brings video chatting, augmented reality (AR) and Facebook Watch to any TV set. In addition, the company also unveiled two new Portal smart display devices that are aggressively priced to grow the company’s home [...]

  • Milford Sound, Fiordland National Park, South

    Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ Series to Shoot in New Zealand

    Amazon Studios has set New Zealand as the location for its upcoming series production of “The Lord of the Rings,” following in the footsteps of the movies made by Peter Jackson. Pre-production on the series has started, and production on the series will begin in Auckland in the coming months. “We knew we needed to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content