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Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment Forms Joint Venture With Swirl Films to Relaunch FrightPIX as a Streaming Channel

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Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (NASDAQ: CSSE) announced a joint venture with Swirl Films to relaunch FrightPIX as a Free Ad-supported Streaming Television (FAST) channel, YouTube channel, and other connected platforms. The venture will offer horror, thriller, and true crime content, including exclusive original content produced by Swirl Films. The deal will enable Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment to provide content from its Screen Media Ventures division, while Swirl Films will produce exclusive, original content for FrightPIX and manage the channel. The joint venture aims to drive additional revenues for existing properties and create a must-watch destination for horror, thriller, and true crime fans.
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The joint venture between Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment and Swirl Films to relaunch FrightPIX as a FAST channel, YouTube channel and on other connected platforms represents a strategic move in the expanding streaming market. The focus on horror, thriller and true crime content caters to a niche but dedicated audience segment that is known for high engagement levels. This genre has historically shown resilience in economic downturns, often maintaining or even increasing viewership during such periods.

By leveraging Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment's existing content catalog and Swirl Films' expertise in independent film production, the joint venture is poised to offer a unique value proposition. The introduction of exclusive, original content could be a significant driver of viewer retention and ad revenue, as originality is a key factor in differentiating streaming services in a crowded market. However, the AVOD model, while growing, still faces stiff competition from subscription-based services and the long-term viability will depend on the venture's ability to secure a substantial viewer base and consistent advertising partners.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment's (CSSE) announcement is likely to be viewed positively by investors, as the company is actively seeking to diversify revenue streams and capitalize on its content library. The move into the FAST channel space with a genre-focused approach aligns with current industry trends where targeted content offerings can command premium advertising rates. The joint venture's ability to produce quality content at lower costs could improve margins and potentially lead to an increase in shareholder value.

However, it is crucial to monitor the execution of this strategy, as the success of FrightPIX will hinge on its content's appeal and the platform's user experience. The partnership dynamics and revenue-sharing agreements will also play a significant role in the financial outcomes for CSSE. Investors should watch for user growth metrics and advertising sales performance post-launch to gauge the joint venture's impact on CSSE's bottom line.

Entering the FAST channel space with a genre-specific offering such as FrightPIX is indicative of the industry's shift towards niche content curation. This approach can be particularly effective in building loyal communities and enhancing brand identity. The horror, thriller and true crime genres have a proven track record of dedicated fandom, which can be advantageous for building a consistent viewer base. Moreover, the emphasis on exclusive, original content is a strategic response to the oversaturation of generic content in the streaming market, potentially giving FrightPIX a competitive edge.

The collaboration with Swirl Films, known for its cost-effective production capabilities, could allow for a steady stream of fresh content, which is critical in maintaining viewer engagement. The success of this model will largely depend on the venture's ability to understand and adapt to its audience's preferences, which requires continuous market research and agile content strategy. The impact on the broader media landscape will be determined by the venture's ability to leverage cross-platform distribution, including YouTube, to maximize reach and ad revenue.

Thousands of hours of full-length horror, thriller, and true crime with shows that will make fans scream with delight to be combined with exclusive, original content produced by Swirl Films

Content will be offered via Free Ad-supported Streaming Television (FAST) channel, YouTube, and other connected platforms

COS COB, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (NASDAQ: CSSE) today announced it formed a joint venture with Swirl Films to relaunch the Ad-supported Video on Demand (AVOD) service FrightPIX as a Free Ad-supported Streaming Television channel (FAST), YouTube channel, and offer it through other connected platforms. A home for creature features, zombies, thrillers, and creepy crimes, FrightPIX offers viewers a curated selection of programs guaranteed to make audiences feel the need to check under the bed before they sleep at night.

Under the terms of the deal, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment will provide content from its Screen Media Ventures division, including hard-to-find horror films. Swirl Films will bring a deep knowledge of the independent film space, produce exclusive, original content for FrightPIX, and manage the channel itself. This follows the recently announced Fuel TV joint venture and is the next in the line of joint venture deals. Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment plans for 2024 to drive additional revenues for existing properties it owns and operates utilizing the expertise of third parties.

“We’re delighted to be working with Eric and his team at Swirl Films on this joint venture,” said Elana Sofko, chief strategy officer of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. “Creepy content is one of the most popular genres for streaming audiences, not commonly available for advertisers, and we feel this new joint venture will enable us to fully realize the potential of our catalog and the FrightPIX brand. That, combined with the exclusive original titles, will make it a must-watch destination for horror, thriller, and true crime fans.”

“As a consistent producer of thrilling content for networks, partnering with Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment on FrightPIX and having our own platform is a dream!” said Eric Tomosunas, CEO of Swirl Films / FrightPIX LLC. “FrightPIX allows us to continue to expand our content offerings and gives us the unique advantage to leverage our ability to produce quality content at lower price points for our platform.”

About Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (Nasdaq: CSSE) provides premium content to value-conscious consumers. The company is one of the largest Advertising-supported Video On Demand (AVOD) companies in the US, with three flagship AVOD streaming services: Redbox, Crackle, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. In addition, the company operates Redbox Free Live TV, a Free Ad-supported Streaming Television service (FAST), a Transaction Video On Demand (TVOD) service, and a network of kiosks across the US for DVD and Blu-ray rentals. To provide original and exclusive content to its viewers, the company creates, acquires, and distributes films and TV series through its Screen Media and Chicken Soup for the Soul TV Group subsidiaries. Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment is a subsidiary of Chicken Soup for the Soul, LLC, which publishes the famous book series and produces super-premium pet food under the Chicken Soup for the Soul brand name.

About Swirl Films

Swirl Films was founded in 2001 with Eric Tomosunas’ ambitious vision to establish a diversified independent media company to create quality content and engage experiences for a global audience. Swirl Films’ independent approach has propelled the company’s physical production services in live action features, episodic television, unscripted series, and event programming to now also developing and selling original content and operating as a fully functioning studio.

Forward-Looking Statements and Available Information

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements are based on various assumptions, whether or not identified in this press release, and on the current expectations of management and are not predictions of actual performance. Such assumptions involve a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to risks relating to our core strategy, operating income and margin, seasonality, liquidity, including cash flows from operations, available funds, and access to financing sources, free cash flows, revenues, net income, profitability, stock price volatility, future regulatory changes, price changes, ability to achieve and sustain market acceptance of our content streaming services and other content offerings, ability to recruit and retain officers, key employees, or directors, ability to protect our intellectual property, ability to complete and integrate into our existing operations future strategic acquisitions, ability to manage growth, ability to pay dividends and our debt obligations, as well as evolving regulatory or other operational risks, and risks presented by changing general market conditions impacting demand for our services. For a more complete description of these and other risks and uncertainties, please refer to Item 1A (Risk Factors) in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022 filed with the SEC on March 31, 2023, as amended. If any of these risks materialize or our assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by the forward-looking statements contained in this press release.

(PRESS)

Peter Binazeski

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment

pbinazeski@chickensoupforthesoul.com

(INVESTOR RELATIONS)

Zaia Lawandow

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment

zlawandow@chickensoupforthesoul.com

Source: Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment

FAQ

What is the joint venture announced by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment (CSSE)?

The joint venture is with Swirl Films to relaunch FrightPIX as a Free Ad-supported Streaming Television (FAST) channel, YouTube channel, and other connected platforms, offering horror, thriller, and true crime content, including exclusive original content produced by Swirl Films.

What content will be provided by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment in the joint venture?

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment will provide content from its Screen Media Ventures division, including hard-to-find horror films.

What will Swirl Films bring to the joint venture?

Swirl Films will bring a deep knowledge of the independent film space, produce exclusive, original content for FrightPIX, and manage the channel itself.

What are the plans for 2024 mentioned in the press release?

The plans for 2024 involve driving additional revenues for existing properties owned and operated by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment utilizing the expertise of third parties.

Who is the CEO of Swirl Films / FrightPIX LLC?

The CEO of Swirl Films / FrightPIX LLC is Eric Tomosunas.

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc.

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