Crypt TV, the digital studio founded by Eli Roth and Jack Davis and backed by Jason Blum, expanded its deal with Facebook, inking a content partnership to create a slate of five horror and monster-themed series exclusively for Facebook Watch.
For Facebook Watch, it’s one of the first deals for a full slate of content from a partner — as opposed to deals for one-off shows, as it has been doing to date. The goal: to build a personalized, social-video experience for Facebook Watch from digital partners like Crypt TV that have a strong brand and loyal following on Facebook.
Crypt TV, founded in 2015, has 3 million followers on Facebook and initially launched with Facebook as its primary exclusive platform in the first two years of the company.
Facebook has agreed to fund five new series, each approximately 10 episodes, under the pact. Facebook Watch and Crypt TV are currently in active development on other shows. Executive producers on the series from Crypt TV are Jack Davis, Kate Krantz and Darren Brandl. Wiip, the independent studio founded by former ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee, will also serve as co-producers.
The slate deal does not include “The Birch,” Crypt TV’s 14-episode thriller slated premiere on Facebook Watch on Oct. 11. “The Birch,” based on a short of the same name, centers on the dark relationship between a tree-monster and teen who summons her in a time of crisis, told from multiple character perspectives as their lives are indelibly shaped by The Birch.
The expanded partnership with Facebook “is a unique opportunity for Crypt to continue to build our brand and bring our original scary IP to Facebook Watch,” Crypt TV CEO Jack Davis said in announcing the deal. “Our monsters are anchored to powerful emotions and we hope the exploration of these universal emotions brings the world a little bit closer together. Because of the community and engagement Facebook makes possible, we feel like we’ve had a real chance to fulfill our mission and continue to grow this mission moving forward.”
The Crypt TV pact continues Facebook’s investment in original programming. The strategy is aimed at pushing the social platform’s 2 billion-plus users to Facebook Watch with content geared around engaging communities of interest — to spur viewers to comment and share on the videos. The company claims it’s working: On a daily basis, 140 million people come to Facebook Watch, Facebook said last month, nearly doubling in six months. Facebook Watch viewers spend an average of 26 minutes per day watching video.
Crypt TV’s original content has generated more than 1 billion views to date, and the company says it has 12 million follows across all platforms, featuring characters from franchises including The Birch, Sunny Family Cult, and The Look-See. Crypt TV also has produced content for studio and TV partners including Fox, Warner Bros. and Netflix.
In 2018, Crypt TV raised $6.2 million in Series A funding, bringing it to over $10 million in funding to date. Investors include Jason Blum’s Blumhouse Productions, Lerer Hippeau, NBCUniversal and Advancit Capital.