Crackle is a video streaming distributor of original web shows, Hollywood movies, and TV shows. Founded in the early 2000s as Grouper, and rebranded in 2007, Crackle is owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment. The service is free with commercials on all supported platforms.
|Founder||Josh Felser and Dave Samuel|
|Headquarters||Culver City, California, United States|
|Parent||Sony Pictures Entertainment|
Grouper (later renamed Crackle) was founded by Josh Felser, Dave Samuel, Mike Sitrin and Aviv Eyal in 2004. In August 2006, Sony purchased the online video site Grouper for $65 million. In July 2007, Sony announced that Grouper would be re-branded and re-purposed as Crackle, a multi-platform video-entertainment network and studio, featuring full-length movies and television shows from Sony’s library, and would produce original content made for the Internet. In late 2008, San Francisco based Crackle was moved to Sony’s Culver City base to be formally folded into the studio’s digital content operations.
In March 2011, Crackle became available for streaming across PS3, Roku boxes, Sony Blu-ray players and Bravia TVs. In April 2011, Crackle announced that they would release apps for iOS and Android systems in June of the same year. Crackle also partnered with Xbox Live, making its content available for Xbox 360. In June 2013, Crackle released an app for the BlackBerry 10 platform. In December 2013, Crackle made its content available for the Apple TV set-top box.
In January 2012, Crackle added Animax to its content, available to viewers in the US and Canada. Towards the end of 2013, the Animax branding was removed. In Australia, Crackle became the free-to-air home of popular soap opera Days of Our Lives after the television broadcaster Nine Network axed the series after 45 years.
On April 1, 2014, Sony Pictures Television ceased its Crackle operations in the UK and Australia almost four years after Crackle had expanded into the UK. Crackle UK had struggled to gain a large audience due to other competitors like LoveFilm and Netflix. Two days later, NBCUniversal Television & New Media Distribution struck a multi-year deal with Crackle to have more than 140 of NBCUni's feature films streamed. but Crackle shut down its UK service in April 2014 without prior notice.
On April 30, 2014, Crackle announced it would begin carrying Sports Jeopardy!, which as its name implies is a sports-themed version of the syndicated game show Jeopardy!, beginning that fall. Dan Patrick will host the series. Approximately one week after the cancellation of the theatrical release of The Interview, in the aftermath of the Sony hack, the New York Post reported that Sony would release the movie for free, on Crackle.
On April 14, 2015, Crackle held its first-ever upfront presentation. During the event, it announced a new feature dubbed "Always On"; a linear, ad-supported, internet television channel similar to Vevo TV. Among the new programs announced was Crackle's first animated series, SuperMansion; their first hour long scripted drama, The Art of More; and Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser, a sequel to 2001's Joe Dirt being touted as the first ever "made-for-digital" movie sequel.
Crackle features programming in the following key genres: Action, Comedy, Crime, Drama, Horror and Sci-fi.
Crackle has produced and distributed original programing including Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Chosen, Sports Jeopardy!, and full-length feature films Extraction and Joe Dirt 2.
Movie and TV libraryEdit
Crackle features many Columbia Pictures, TriStar Pictures, Screen Gems, Funimation Films, and Sony Pictures Classics titles and Sony-distributed television series like Damages, Rescue Me, The Shield, and Seinfeld. Its content refreshes monthly, with titles being added and taken down.
- FOX Digital
- Lions Gate Entertainment
- Red Bull
- Universal Studios
- Entertainment One/Alliance Films (Canada only)
- The Walt Disney Company
- The Weinstein Company/Dimension Films
- Warner Bros./New Line Cinema
- Morgan Creek Productions
- Legendary Pictures/Legendary Digital Media
- RatPac-Dune Entertainment
- Village Roadshow Entertainment Group
- StudioCanal (Europe only)
- 20th Century Fox
- Paramount Pictures
While Crackle officially operates in Canada, beginning in late 2015, several original series were streamed exclusively through Shomi and Crave TV. After Shomi shut down in Fall 2016, new productions continued to stream on Crave TV.
As of 2017, Crackle is no longer offered as a free service in Latin America. Instead, it is offered as an ad-free premium service. It is required to be a subscriber of a pay TV provider that has partnered with Crackle in order to register as a member to access and pay for the service.
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