Tribeca Shortlist Graduates to Grownup Service, Lets You Watch Films on Your iPhone

The online subscription streaming service from Tribeca Enterprises and Lionsgate expands beyond niche iPad viewing

Last Updated: December 17, 2015 @ 7:06 AM

Tribeca Shortlist, a subscription service launched by the company that runs the Tribeca Film Fest and studio Lionsgate, is angling to join online video’s big-kids table.

Shortlist expanded its availability Thursday to let people watch on iPhones, the most prevalent smartphone in the US, and will let mobile devices download content for offline viewing. It also added the ability to stream its online film catalog on televisions through over-the-top boxes Roku and Amazon Fire TV, two of the most popular platforms to watch long-form online content on the biggest screen in the home.

Previously, Tribeca Shortlist had only been available to stream through iPads, laptops and computers.

Launching a subscription video services has become a popular strategy among traditional entertainment companies who want compete with the likes of Netflix for the attention of viewers increasingly watching on devices. In the last month, NBCUniversal has unveiled plans to launch a comedy subscription service called Seeso, and Amazon has built a system to let almost any video company create an online subscription channel for members of its Prime program.

Lionsgate and Tribeca Tribeca Enterprises — the media company that owns and operates the Tribeca Film Festival — launched Shortlist in October, but its availability on limited platforms crimped its reach. By expanding to the iPhone, the smartphone in more American pockets than any other, and popular over-the-top boxes, the service is taking its first shot meeting some basic requirements of its likely customers.

Shortlist wouldn’t disclose its subscriber numbers so far.