By Sahil Patel
Indie film distributor and comScore-ranked YouTube MCN The Orchard is partnering with CraveOnline to launch the Shock Till You Drop YouTube channel, based on the horror-focused website of the same name. Expanding the STYD brand to the world’s biggest video site, The Orchard and CraveOnline will populate the channel with horror film and TV show reviews, commentary, sneak previews, and other video content targeted to horror lovers everywhere.
The content partners will also work together on developing three new original shows, one focused on weekly horror industry news, another on roundtable discussions about “American Horror Story,” and a third on horror film content acquired by and distributed through The Orchard. One of the shows will be hosted by TV personality Erin Darling.
As that third original web series indicates, the STYD YouTube channel is part of a larger marketing and distribution pact signed by The Orchard, which consistently ranks in comScore’s top 10 YouTube channel partners, and CraveOnline, which reaches more than 22 million uniques across its male-oriented network of sites. The two have agreed to work together on acquiring, marketing, and distributing horror films across multiple digital on-demand and home video outlets, including Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, Xbox, iTunes, and Vudu. The Orchard and CraveOnline will use the YouTube channel and the STYD brand to market these acquisitions to their combined audience, with the hopes that it will drive viewership and sales.
For an indie distributor like The Orchard, this feels like a pretty sound strategy: Acquire a certain type of content, find the place online where the audience that is most likely to enjoy that type of content already exists, and then get your stuff in front of them in an organic way. I don’t know how big the STYD audience is, but it’s likely that whoever regularly visits the site would be interested in the horror films The Orchard has to offer.
The first acquisitions under this agreement are “Missionary,” directed by Anthony DiBlasi; “The Complex,” a new film from the director of “Ringu” and “The Ring Two”; and two indie thrillers from Continental Media, “SoLo” and “Bela Kiss.”
Per the agreement, the STYD YouTube channel will join The Orchard’s owned and operated channel network, while ShockTillYouDrop.com will remain under the CraveOnline and Evolve Media umbrella.