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Machinima Inks Amazon SVOD Pact In Further Shift Away From YouTube

Gaming-fandom digital programmer also cuts deal for U.K.'s Sky ad-supported VOD service

Machinima logo
Courtesy of Machinima

Machinima is coming to Amazon Prime Video as an add-on subscription service — the latest move by the digital programmer centered on fandom and gamer culture to diversify revenue beyond YouTube.

In addition, Machinima reached a deal with British satcaster Sky, under which Machinima content is now available on Sky Q, the ad-supported digital VOD service that launched earlier this year in the U.K. and Ireland.

Founded in 2000, Machinima built its business as one of the first YouTube multichannel networks and has struggled financially over the past few years. The company, whose backers include Warner Bros., has sought more favorable economics with subscription VOD and other distribution deals off the Google-owned video giant. The Amazon SVOD deal comes after Machinima launched last year on Sony’s PlayStation Vue service in the U.S.

“A lot of Machinima original programming is no longer on YouTube,” said James Glasscock, Machinima’s senior VP of strategy and business development. “All of our originals will have an exclusive window on SVOD — it will be the one place you can count on to find the best of Machinima.”

With the launch on Amazon in the next few weeks, “on Day One it puts Machinima SVOD in front of a lot video consumers,” Glasscock said.

Pricing hasn’t been set for the service on Amazon Prime, but Glasscock said it would likely be around $3 monthly. On PlayStation Vue, Machinima programming is available to subscribers of the $54.99 per month Elite package; as an a la carte option with other plans, it’s $3.99 per month ($1.99 for PlayStation Plus members).

Machinima’s SVOD lineup includes new and library content, including a curated slice of the most popular weekly trending videos from its creator network. Machinima’s partners generate some 100,000 videos per month on YouTube; the SVOD service carries 100-200 of the top videos.

Original Machinima programming to be windowed first on SVOD includes “BFFs,” a comedy drawing on tropes from first-person shooter games; “150 Facts,” focusing on behind-the-scenes info about popular entertainment franchises like Transformers and the Avengers; video-game commentary show “GameHQ”; “Perks and Domination,” a gameplay show hosted by “Call of Duty” player CODFish; “Ten FTW,” a top-ten countdown show about what’s hot in gaming; and “The Bacca Chronicles,” an animated series featuring YouTube star and “Minecraft” specialist JeromeASF.

However, some of the company’s series have exclusive windowing commitments. In the U.S., Machinima has licensed several series exclusively to Verizon’s Go90, including the live-action “Street Fighter: Resurrection” and “Transformers: Combiner Wars,” which debuted Aug. 2 on Go90.

Machinima’s deals with Amazon Prime and Sky follow recent international agreements with AMC Networks Iberia for an SVOD service in Spain and Portugal and Chinese internet giant Sohu’s ad-supported video platform.

Machinima is in talks with other distributors, according to Glasscock, including companies planning to launch OTT pay-TV bundles and traditional cable operators.

The company doesn’t have any licensing deals with the other two big U.S. SVOD players — Netflix and Hulu. But Glasscock sees opportunities with them, as well as with the core Amazon Prime Video service, as Machinima produces more longer-form programming. He cited as an example eSports docu-series “Chasing the Cup,” which aired earlier this year on the CW.

“As we go into longer form, that gives us an opportunity to sell individual shows,” Glasscock said.

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