Market Watch

Crackle Launches in Canada



Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE)  has launched its online video portal Crackle in Canada in partnership with Rogers Media, who will act as the ad sales agent selling Crackle's Canadian inventory across all of its online distribution channels.

Crackle's content in Canada includes original online short form series, full length and short form TV shows - including Samurai X and Newsradio - and films from Sony Pictures Library - including A Few Good Men and Godzilla vs. Megaguirus. The proprietary Crackle player, which provides content protection and consolidated, dynamic ad serving, will also be embedded across all distribution partners' sites such as RogersOnDemand, YouTube, Boxee, Dailymotion and Metacafe.

Analysis
Canadian launch continues Crackle's international expansion to English speaking countries: the portal launched in the UK and Australia in June this year. With Sony being one of the Studios not to have an interest in a broadcast TV or cable network, Crackle allows Sony's content to be digitally distributed direct to consumers. With the Crackle player coming installed on Sony Bravia internet-enabled TV and on the PS3, the online portal's profile will increase within the target audience of young men.  Sony is investing heavily in made for web programming. Screen Digest estimates that in the US Crackle has made $4.6m in advertising revenue in 2009, due to rise to $29.3m in 2010.

Partnership with Rogers Media follows the strategy of outsourcing international advertising sales to local partners already deployed by SPE in Australia and the UK, where SPE has partnered Ignite Media Brands and Unanimis respectively. By contrast, US ad sales are handled in-house.

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