By Sahil Patel
Accessible via Break.com and Break Media’s mobile and connected-TV apps, the new “Movies on Break” streaming channel offers viewers a curated selection of Lionsgate films like “Winter’s Bone,” “Swimming with Sharks,” and “The Descent.” Initially, the channel has 80 films organized by eight custom categories including “Pulse-Pounding Action” and “Overlooked Gems.” A new category will debut each week with 8–10 films, all hand-selected by the Break editorial team.
The channel launch is an important one for Break, which is witnessing more time-spent on its video content, according to Defy Media president Keith Richman: “As we’ve continued to launch on mobile and OTT devices, our engagement numbers have taken off with viewing sessions on Xbox and Roku eclipsing 30 minutes.” Going forward, Break wants to add more long-form video — including content produced by other studios — to further increase that stat.
Defy Media plans to promote the new channel to its overall network audience, which include 49 million subscribers on YouTube, 70 million site visitors, and 22 million who have downloaded any one of its apps, according to Richman. Outside of Break, Defy also owns and operates the Smosh, Screen Junkies, and Clevver Media brands.
Lionsgate, meanwhile, is one of an increasing number of traditional entertainment companies interested in over-the-top video distribution. The studio, which has more than 15,000 films in its library, already licenses some of its content to Netflix; is producing originals for Hulu; and has a pact with Tribeca Enterprises to launch an indie-focused OTT service early this year.
The studio also has a deal with Defy to distribute the upcoming “Smosh Movie” worldwide. This licensing deal with Break is non-exclusive.