Indie streamer Fandor has a new home at independent entertainment studio Cinedigm, which picked up the subscription service and will add it to its growing collection of streaming services. Per an official press release, “Cinedigm plans to leverage its substantial content library, technology, engineering, and distribution capabilities to rapidly expand Fandor’s content offering, relaunch the service’s apps and dramatically expand distribution to Cinedigm’s global footprint of over 900 million connected devices.”
As part of this new purchase, Cinedigm “plans on ramping up new and existing content partnerships with distribution partners from around the globe to make Fandor the preeminent destination for emerging global voices.” Cinedigm will continue to offer the service ad-free, but the studio also plans to offer a free, ad-supported on-demand tier as well as a linear streaming channel to further broaden the service’s reach to audiences of all viewing preferences.
In recent years, Cinedigm has beefed up its streaming and subscription offerings considerably; in 2019, it purchased streamers Viewster and Anime, and just last year the company picked up the classic film-leaning service The Film Detective.
Cinedigm will also be relaunching Fandor’s own film publication, Keyframe, which shuttered in late 2018. Phil Hopkins, President of Cinedigm’s Film Detective division, will oversee both Fandor and Keyframe, with an eye toward relaunching the service in the second quarter of 2021.
In December 2018, Fandor cut most of the service’s staff and scrapped a plan to relaunch in January 2019. At the time, IndieWire reported that Fandor’s assets were “under the control of an unknown group, which has allowed the site to function despite its now small group of temporary employees.” The layoffs and mysterious new ownership followed the spring 2017 closure of its online magazine Keyframe and an unpopular move to make the service more “mainstream” (which, at one point, included the “hiring” of Jared Leto as Chief Creative Officer). In the interim, the service has continued to operate using a subscription model that touted the site’s deep wealth of indie and documentary films.
“This acquisition of Fandor, coming on the heels of our Film Detective acquisition, solidifies Cinedigm’s position as the leading global streaming company for independent films,” said Chris McGurk, Cinedigm Chairman and CEO, in an official statement. “As a key element of our recently announced streaming rollup strategy, Fandor will immediately benefit from our streaming distribution muscle, huge library of independent films, Matchpoint technology, cost savings and infrastructure and synergies with our wide portfolio of enthusiast streaming channels.”
Added Hopkins, “The opportunity to leverage Fandor’s passionate community of independent film enthusiasts will be integral in the service’s growth. Being able to communicate and collaborate with this community of content creators, bloggers, and editorial writers will allow us to significantly expand Fandor into the global focal point for streaming independent films, documentaries, classics, and foreign films.”