MGM’s premium cabler has been developing an OTT service for some time. The company’s larger rivals — HBO, Showtime and Starz — also have services that allow subscribers to sign up for their channels without the need for a pay-TV package from a traditional MVPD provider.
Epix Now is available as an app for iPhone, iPad and Apple TV and in Google Play for Android phones and tablets. It is expected to be available soon via Roku devices and Amazon Fire TV, with the plan roll out across other devices and platforms throughout the year. The formal launch of Epix Now was unveiled Sunday as part of Epix’s portion of the winter Television Critics Assn. press tour in Pasadena, Calif.
MGM is counting on the growth of the streaming marketplace to expand distribution of Epix. The pay TV service launched in 2009 by MGM, Viacom and Lionsgate is now solely owned by MGM. Epix was an early mover in making its theatrical movie slate available for authenticated viewing via streaming.
Under MGM’s ownership, Epix is ramping up its original programming in an effort to drive MGM profits through content licensing sales around the world. Turning Epix into a bigger platform in the U.S. will only help MGM generate buzz for shows to sell overseas. Epix’s subscriber base at present stands at about 15 million.
“2019 is poised to be an incredible year of growth for our network,” said Epix president Michael Wright. “Launching Epix Now and providing consumers nationwide with access to our premium original programming and blockbuster movies is an exciting moment for our company and solidifies our commitment to bring high-level storytelling to as many people as possible. We look forward to welcoming new audiences to our network.”
Epix Now will offer a VOD library of thousands of movies and Epix’s original programming, ranging from comedy specials and documentary series to dramas including “Get Shorty,” “Berlin Station,” “Deep State” and the upcoming “Pennyworth,” revolving around Batman’s famous butler, Alfred Pennyworth.
Epix Now will also offer live streams of Epix’s four linear channels on Apple TV and other devices, as well as 4K streaming quality on supported devices.
“Epix has always been committed to reaching consumers wherever and however they want to watch content,” said Monty Sarhan, Epix’s exec VP and general manager. “We’re incredibly excited that Epix Now expands our national footprint through new partnerships and allows Epix fans to continue to watch the shows they know and love anywhere, anytime.”
In other news from the session, Epix has cut a deal to turn the Slate magazine podcast “Slow Burn,” hosted by Leon Neyfakh, into a six-part docu series focusing Presidential scandals and particularly “strange subplots and forgotten characters involved in the downfall of a president,” per Epix. The series will by co-produced by Left/Right and Slate, with Ken Druckerman and Banks Tarver executive producing for Left/Right and Dan Check, Julia Turner and Gabriel Roth for Slate.
“With ‘Slow Burn,’ Leon Neyfakh took a profound and compelling journey through some of the most unforgettable times in political history,” said Wright. “As huge fans of the podcast, we’re thrilled to work with our partners at Slate, Left/Right and, of course, Leon, to further explore what he so brilliantly brought to the fore.”
(Pictured: “Get Shorty”)