Cinedigm Corp wants to be the the United States’ Britbox of Chinese entertainment by building an OTT channel dedicated to distributing local content from the country.
The digital media company’s chairman and CEO, Chris McGurk, announced the new initiative today at the Beijing International Film Festival in which he unveiled plans to for a new North American OTT channel dedicated to distributing Chinese film and television content.
To help grow the upcoming service, the company will make use of its Chinese backers, which include Bison Capital and Starrise Media. Hong Kong-based investor Bison Capital completed a majority investment in Cinedigm last November, followed in January by a partnership with Starrise Media to co-produce and distribute films in North America and China.
Why it matters:
There are over 200 OTT services in the US and despite the Chinese population in the US being more than 5 million, there is a scarcity of streamers dedicated to Chinese content. With Cinedigm being one of the first digital companies to target this audience, the opportunity to make a name for itself as the go to destination for Chinese content could prove to be a profitable one.
According to McGurk, the new channel will attempt to do for Chinese content what Crunchyroll and Dramafever have done for Japanese and Korean content.
“Today in the U.S., most Chinese content released is targeted to Chinese language speakers, which amounts to only about 3 million users,” he said. “We believe that new entrants must not only target this base but also a broad group of young English-speaking viewers who already appreciate Asian culture and have already demonstrated a willingness to watch it on services like Crunchyroll and Dramafever.”