×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

FilmOn Buys CinemaNow Movie, TV Digital Storefront (Exclusive)

FilmOn TV Networks has acquired CinemaNow, once the digital-entertainment face of retail giant Best Buy, from private-equity firm Regent Equity Partners.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. CinemaNow will continue to operate its direct-to-consumer transactional video-on-demand business, which offers 55,000 premium movies and TV episodes to rent or own from studios including Disney, 20th Century Fox, NBCUniversal, Lionsgate, eOne, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Warner Bros.

CinemaNow was founded in 1999 — the prehistoric days of digital video — backed by investors including Lionsgate, Cisco Systems and EchoStar. A decade later the pioneering service, then owned by Sonic Solutions, cut a deal with Best Buy to use CinemaNow as its online entertainment brand. Best Buy exited the business in 2014 and sold the name to Reliance Majestic Holdings, which had also acquired the back-end operations group that powered CinemaNow.

The service competes with video storefronts including Apple’s iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play and Walmart’s Vudu. Currently, CinemaNow’s catalog includes new releases such as “The Martian,” “Inside Out,” “Straight Outta Compton,” “Jurassic World” and “Furious 7.” The service is available on some 350 different devices, including Apple iOS, Android, Roku, Google Chromecast, Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox and Samsung.

FilmOn’s takeover of CinemaNow is the latest move by CEO Alkiviades “Alki” David, the billionaire whose family owns a Coca-Cola bottling empire in Greece, to assemble a next-generation entertainment conglomerate. London-based FilmOn offers nearly 1,000 free streaming channels across multiple genres and more than 45,000 VOD titles, and the company claims it reaches 70 million monthly users worldwide.

“Our goal has always been to advance legal access to great content for the benefit of the consumer,” David said in a statement. “Now we’re working with all the major studios and broadcasters to build the future of entertainment together.”

With the acquisition, FilmOn has appointed Donna Smith, formerly CinemaNow’s VP of new business, as president of CinemaNow. David Goldsmith, FilmOn’s chief strategy officer, will lead the integration of the FilmOn and CinemaNow platforms, and FilmOn chief content officer Kim Hurwitz will integrate FilmOn content with CinemaNow.

CinemaNow will distribute exclusive content owned by FilmOn, including FilmOn TV Network’s original programming and licensed library titles. In addition, CinemaNow will distribute video content created by David’s Hologram USA, which is creating shows around dead celebrities including Whitney Houston, Billie Holiday, Patsy Cline and Andy Kaufmann.

FilmOn also said it will leverage CinemaNow via its partnership with PC maker Lenovo, which pre-loads FilmOn’s apps on every computer, tablet, smartphone and smart TV it sells. FilmOn will continue to white-label CinemaNow and expand the reach of premium studio content through its network of 10,000 affiliates including BlackBerry, Intel and iHeartMedia.

More Digital

  • New Handheld Console Playdate Has a

    New Handheld Console Playdate Has a Crank and 12 Games

    Portland-based Panic has a shiny new game console, called Playdate, and a slew of new games to go with it, the developer announced Wednesday via Twitter. Playdate is a bright yellow, handheld console with a black and white screen and a crank— no not for power, this little crank has functionality in some games for [...]

  • BBC Studios Names Anna Cronin Digital

    BBC Studios Names Anna Cronin Digital Content Director (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anna Cronin has been upped to director of digital content at BBC Studios, a new role at the production and distribution arm of the U.K. pubcaster. The position is within BBC Studios’ content partnerships division, which oversees the company’s programming and IP partnerships. Cronin will work with U.K. and international partners, and notably those in [...]

  • Facebook's Oculus Quest Shows How AR

    What the Oculus Quest Can Teach Us About the Future of Mixed Reality

    Facebook’s new Oculus Quest headset is a great gaming device that simplifies virtual reality (VR), doing away with the need for an expensive PC and external tracking hardware. But with its integrated tracking, the Quest can also teach us a thing or two about the future of virtual and augmented reality. Those two areas of [...]

  • snapchat-logo

    Snapchat Takes Down Porn Lenses, May Start Cat-and-Mouse Game

    Snapchat quickly removed a handful of x-rated augmented reality lenses Tuesday, dealing a blow to efforts by adult entertainment company Naughty America to promote its subscriptions to the service’s users. However, the porn studio may not be quite done with Snapchat just yet, as it is still distributing the source files that allow Snapchat users [...]

  • YouTube logo

    Why YouTube Is Changing the Way It Reports Subscriber Counts

    Within the next three months, YouTube will change the way it publicly displays channel subscriber counts: It will provide only rounded figures instead of actual follower numbers. For example, under the change, T-Series — the Indian music-video channel that recently surpassed PewDiePie to become the most-subscribed channel on the platform — would be listed in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content