Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment Inc. (Nasdaq: CSSE), one of the largest operators of advertising-supported video on demand (AVOD) streaming services, and Publicis Media’s APX Content Ventures, a global offering dedicated to investing in quality and mission-driven programming, today announced an extension to their current agreement to expand the companies’ content financing partnership and elevate the voices of underserved audiences. The first project greenlit under the extended agreement is the reality series Dirty Pool with J.B. Smoove, starring comedian J.B. Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm), which will premiere exclusively on Crackle and Redbox streaming platforms in late 2023.
Publicis Media’s APX Content Ventures is a next-generation unit within Publicis Media that seeks to find, fund, and elevate partners and properties that amplify diverse voices, empower women and build community, connection, and trust. APX and Publicis clients will have the exclusive opportunity to be featured prominently in the series via deep brand integrations, custom content, sponsorships, and other show-adjacent segments. The companies previously came together to produce the original series Inside the Black Box, which features revealing conversations, exciting performances, workshops, and discussions about the role race plays in the entertainment industry.
Chicken Soup for the Soul is the latest partner to receive funding through APX Content Ventures’ $25 million Inclusion Investment Fund, which is part of Publicis Media’s Once & For All Coalition initiative. It has funded over 20 content ideas with more than 10 diverse-owned, operated, and targeted companies.
Dirty Pool with J.B. Smoove is Dinner for Five meets Celebrity Poker over a pool table. Hosted by J.B. Smoove, he will be joined by his celebrity friends who talk shop around a pool table. No topic is off limits, including current events and other celebrities. The series will premiere in late 2023.
“APX Content Ventures has been a phenomenal partner, and we are very excited to continue creating series together,” said Philippe Guelton, chief revenue officer of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment. “The brand integrations into these series are an organic way for companies to reach audiences that are no longer watching linear TV. We look forward to announcing additional projects soon.”
“We are thrilled to extend our partnership with Crackle and Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment in bringing quality diverse-owned, operated, and targeted programming to air. Our partnership on Inside the Black Box embedded our client in a seamless and authentic way that also reflected who they are as a brand,” said Kerry Bianchi, Global CEO, APEX Exchange. “Finding quality programming that engages consumers and naturally ties to the ethos of our clients’ brands is a win-win for everyone.”
Crackle’s recent releases include season 2 of the murder mystery series The Wall, the home renovation series Pet Caves, plus-size mountain climber documentary Kili Big, season 2 of the hit college thriller series In the Vault, the sci-fi series Salvage Marines starring Casper Van Dien, and the award-winning BBC series Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.
The Crackle and Redbox streaming services are currently distributed through over 140 touchpoints in the U.S. on platforms including Amazon Fire TV, RokuTV, Apple TV, Smart TVs (Samsung, LG, Vizio), gaming consoles (PS4 and Xbox One), Plex, iOS, and Android mobile devices and on desktops at Crackle.com and Redbox.com with plans to expand to over 160 touch points this year.