Chicken Soup Closes Redbox Deal

Chicken Soup for Soul Entertainment
(Image credit: Chicken Soup for Soul Entertainment)

COS COB, Conn. & OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill.—Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment has announced that the company has completed the acquisition of Redbox Entertainment Inc., creating a combined company offering ad-supported video on demand (AVOD), over 145 free ad-supported streaming television (FAST) channels, transactional video on demand (TVOD), and a network of over 36,000 kiosks nationwide, all supported by original film and television production and distribution divisions. 

The company expects revenue to more than triple through this acquisition to approximately $500 million annually.

The company also announced the appointment of two key media executives. Galen C. Smith, former chief executive officer of Redbox, has been appointed to the new role of executive vice chairman of Redbox and Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. Smith will oversee the company’s future growth plans, including strategic acquisitions. 

In addition, Jonathan Katz has been named president of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. Katz previously held senior executive roles at Scripps Networks, Katz Networks, and Turner Broadcasting. In his new role, Katz will oversee the company’s operating businesses, including streaming services, Redbox kiosks, and original content studios. Smith and Katz will report to William J. Rouhana, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment.

“I’ve been looking forward to the day Redbox would become part of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment family – and today is that day. The Redbox brand is a fixture in American entertainment and now joins our powerful portfolio of streaming brands, including Crackle, Popcornflix, and Chicken Soup for the Soul,” said William J. Rouhana, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. “This acquisition gives us immediate scale, growing our film and television library to over 51,000 assets, establishing a broad complement of AVOD, TVOD, and FAST channel services, reaching millions of viewers across dozens of platforms, and adding Redbox’s 36,000 kiosks nationwide, with a customer loyalty program that has over 40 million members. These collective assets create a fully formed streaming business for a new era of digital entertainment that we anticipate will accelerate the growth and profitability of our company well ahead of our original plans. The team at Redbox is incredible and will join an equally talented team across our Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment companies. I’m excited to welcome our new colleagues and look forward to sharing more about our plans for the future.”

Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment expects that the combined company will exit 2022 with a run rate exceeding $500 million of revenue and $100 - $150 million of Adjusted EBITDA and expects to deliver annual run rate cost synergies in excess of $40 million in 2023. 

The combined company also sees numerous opportunities to drive revenue synergies from its complementary assets, including expansion of ad inventory through distribution of its larger content library and production pipeline across AVOD and FAST channels, and increased access to the TVOD window for original film productions. Additionally, the Redbox kiosk network and loyalty program offer a new marketing channel to promote the company’s original content productions, the company said. 

George Winslow

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.