Crackle Plus launches 5 FAST channels on Local Now

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment’s Crackle Plus is expanding distribution, with five FAST channels launching on Byron Allen’s Local Now free streaming service.

The free ad-supported streaming TV channels include Crackle, Crackle Classics, Chicken Soup for the Soul, action-focused Popcornflix, and faith and family-focused Truli.

“Expanding our distribution with Local Now also reflects our commitment to providing consumers with high quality, entertaining content for free with the support of advertisers who can now reach a brand new audience,” said Philippe Guelton, president of Crackle Plus, in a statement.

Byron Allen, founder and CEO of Local Now parent Allen Media Group said in a statement that “Crackle is a household name in family entertainment, and we are thrilled to partner and add their five channels to Local Now’s stellar lineup.”

 “Local Now is strongly committed to the free streaming space, and we continue to grow our platform by working with amazing brands like Crackle to deliver our viewers high-quality free content,” Allen continued.

As Allen Media Group shifted Local Now from a subscription-based model to AVOD after acquiring it in 2018, the company has worked to bolster content on the platform, which is positioned as the go-to free local streaming service. That includes a deal last year with E.W. Scripps for 10 new FAST channels providing local news, weather, sports, traffic, and entertainment in specific markets. Local Now delivers localized content to over 225 markets in the U.S.

Crackle Plus, meanwhile, is already distributed on platforms such as Amazon Fire TV, RokuTV, and Apple TV, as well as smart TVs from Samsung, LG, and Vizio, gaming consoles PS4 and Xbox, Plex, and iOS and Android mobile devices. It plans to expand from its current 70 U.S. distribution touchpoints to more than 90. 

Around 500,000 Mariott Bonvoy hotel rooms also carry Crackle. Last week, Crackle announced that it launched an updated Fire TV app, promising faster load times for the app, as well as content screens and video playback. It also added an autoplay feature and personalized content recommendation tool.

Crackle parent company Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment is looking to expand its content library and ad-supported offerings with a recently announced acquisition of DVD rental company Redbox, in a $375 million deal.

As for Local Now, the service now offers more than 450 free streaming channels, with a library of more than 14,000 movies TV shows and documentaries.

While pursuing an AVOD model for Local Now, Allen Media just yesterday announced a subscription-based app for another asset, The Weather Channel. It launched the $2.99 per month service, which features a livestream of the 24/7 weather news network, as well as on-demand library content and local interactive features like radar.