YouTube Red soon may no longer be the only place you’ll be able to watch nine original films and series — which until now have been exclusively available on the subscription service.
Gunpowder & Sky, an indie studio and distribution company, has secured a worldwide distribution partnership for nine films and series from YouTube Red, including “Escape the Night” hosted by Joey Graceffa and “The Amazing Tour Is Not On Fire,” a documentary about the international stage tour of British YouTube comedy phenoms Dan Howell and Phil Lester (pictured above).
Under the pact, G&S has distribution rights for the titles for multiple “off-YouTube” platforms, including broadcast and cable TV, electronic sell-through, transactional VOD and home video. However, the deal prohibits distribution to ad-supported VOD platforms, and currently does not encompass rights for subscription VOD.
Each of the originals covered under the deal will remain available on YouTube Red. But just as traditional Hollywood studios have long employed windowing strategies, YouTube is looking for additional revenue opportunities for its productions, particularly in territories where the SVOD service hasn’t yet launched.
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The YouTube Red originals included under the deal with G&S are: season one of “Escape the Night,” a murder-mystery competition series in which digital stars are “killed off” in each episode; hidden-camera show “Prank Academy”; scripted comedy series “Sing It!” from Fine Brothers Entertainment; game-theory series “MatPat’s Game Lab”; comedy movie “Ghostmates” with Smosh’s Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox; holiday comedy special “Jingle Ballin'” starring Liza Koshy; feature-length teen comedy “Alexander IRL,” starring Brent Rivera and Nathan Kress; and zombie reality-competition series “Fight of the Living Dead: Experiment 88.”
Gunpowder & Sky previously distributed two YouTube Red original movies: Lilly Singh’s concert documentary “A Trip To Unicorn Island” and Rooster Teeth’s sci-fi comedy film “Lazer Team.”
“Having already successfully worked with [YouTube] on two of their original features, we are very happy to continue our partnership with YouTube Red in releasing their exciting slate of films and series to new audiences worldwide,” Floris Bauer, Gunpowder & Sky co-founder and president, said in a statement.
Google hasn’t disclosed how many subscribers it has for YouTube Red, priced at $10 per month. The service includes access to YouTube Red originals, as well as unlimited music streaming and an ad-free experience across YouTube. YouTube Red is currently available in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Korea.
Gunpowder & Sky was founded in late 2015 by ex-Viacom exec Van Toffler, Floris Bauer (formerly with Endemol) and Otter Media, a joint venture of AT&T and Chernin Group. G&S bought distributor FilmBuff last year.