Fullscreen to Shut Down Streaming Service, Lay Off About 25

Teen-focused service will stop airing in 2018

Fullscreen Media is shutting down its self-titled streaming service and laying off about 25 employees, the company announced Monday.

CEO George Strompolos announced the decision to pull the streaming service in an email to staffers that was subsequently shared on Medium. The teen-focused subscription streaming service, which costs $5 a month, will stop airing during the first quarter of 2018.

Fullscreen is owned by Otter Media, a joint venture between AT&T and the Chernin Group. The company launched its streaming service last spring with the intention of becoming a Netflix-type destination for the younger demographic.

But according to Strompolos’ memo, the investment required to fund a full-fledged streaming video service curtailed Fullscreen’s ability to devote resources to other lines of business with more “established scale,” like its creator and brand divisions.

Here is Strompolos’ memo:

Team:
When we set out to launch our own SVOD service, we knew it would be a huge challenge. We wanted to provide a new platform for the breakthrough creators, personalities and storytellers of social entertainment — and the fans who love them.

A lot went right. Our talented team built and launched a best-in-class OTT product experience from scratch. We created bold, first-of-its-kind original programming that resonated with young fans. Millions downloaded our app and hundreds of thousands became paying subscribers.

Despite our momentum, we’ve made the difficult decision to shut down the Fullscreen SVOD service in Q1 2018. We came to the conclusion that funding SVOD — a longer-term investment — was limiting our ability to invest in our Creator, Brand, and Rooster Teeth divisions that have more established scale and immediate impact. I shared this news in person with the core SVOD team earlier today.

Many smart, creative people gave so much in pursuit of this ambitious project, from our staff to our talent and partners. In addition, many young fans supported us by subscribing with their own hard-earned money. We thank you all for giving us a chance.

Going forward, we will double-down on our mission to empower creators and bring brands closer to fans. The award-winning product experience and technology we’ve developed over the past two years will be valuable as we build new brands and content offerings in the future. We will continue to identify and invest in talented creators and make ambitious bets to push the space forward. It’s in our DNA. I will share more details about our evolving strategy at the December all-hands meeting.

Onward,

George