Sony Pictures Television is putting crackers in its chicken soup... or so readers may think when glancing at news of Sony's latest sale.
Sony Pictures Television (SPT) has sold a majority stake of streaming service Crackle to Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (CSS Entertainment).
Out emerges a new streaming joint venture dubbed Crackle Plus, which will quickly position itself as a leading advertising video on demand (AVOD) service with an audience of nearly 10m active monthly users.
SPT and CSS Entertainment will both contribute content to the expanded streaming service. CSS Entertainment's properties include Popcornflix, Popcornflix Kids, Truli, Frightpix and Espanolflix.
Mike Hopkins, chairman of SPT, said he sees AVOD services like Crackle Plus as well-positioned for future growth. According to projections from eMarketer, the number of cord-cutters in the US will grow to over 55m by 2022.
"Crackle is a valuable asset and we feel confident it will thrive and grow in this new environment with CSS Entertainment," said Hopkins. "The CSS Entertainment team have the enthusiasm and strong business acumen to ensure Crackle Plus is poised to maximize the growing opportunities in the AVOD marketplace."
William Rouhana Jr, chairman and chief executive officer of CSS Entertainment, said he plans "to build Crackle Plus aggressively and profitably through organic growth and, potentially, acquisitions".
New Media Services, a subsidiary of Sony Electronics, will provide the back-end technology services for Crackle Plus.