Hallmark Cards Inc. has acquired SpiritClips, an online video service and film production company that specializes in the sort of family-friendly movies and other content that would be appropriate for the Hallmark Channel. The deal gives Hallmark an instant way to reach cord-cutters and other audiences beyond cable and satellite subscribers.
Donald J. Hall Jr., Hallmark president and CEO, said the acquisition offers Hallmark a new way to engage consumers and a potential new channel of distribution for the brand. Terms of the deal were not disclosed
The two companies already had a relationship, since SpiritClips has featured Hallmark Hall of Fame movies in its library for over a year. Audiences can watch SpiritClips online and via over-the-top services Roku and Boxee. The service is available in tiers that range from free to unlimited access for $35.99 a year.
SpiritClips was founded in 2007 by Rob Fried, who will continue as SpiritClips CEO. He currently also is chairman of the board for Chinese outdoor advertising network SearchMedia Holdings. Fried formerly held several executive positions at movie studios, including president and CEO of Savoy Pictures and executive vice president of Columbia Pictures, then founded WHN (WhatsHotNow.com), which handled e-commerce for media companies including ABC, Fox, MTV, Comedy Central, NBC and TV Guide before shutting down in 2001.
Hallmark – press release