Fullscreen shutting down SVOD service, laying off 25 employees

Fullscreen SVOD (Fullscreen)
Fullscreen launched its SVOD service in April 2016 and has pushed original content like weekly talk show “Shane and Friends.” (Fullscreen)

Fullscreen’s short run as a subscription video on demand service is officially coming to an end early next year when the company plans to shut it down.

According to Variety, the shutdown means that about 25 Fullscreen employees will be laid off.

George Strompolos, founder and CEO of Fullscreen, posted a memo to employees thanking them for their work on the platform, which he said attracted millions of downloads and hundreds of thousands of paying subscribers.

“Despite our momentum, we’ve made the difficult decision to shut down the Fullscreen SVOD service in January 2018. We came to the conclusion that funding SVOD — a longer-term investment — was limiting our ability to invest in our dynamic Creator, Brand, and Rooster Teeth divisions that have more established scale and immediate impact. I shared this news in person with the core SVOD team earlier today,” wrote Strompolos.

Strompolos said that moving forward, Fullscreen will “double-down on our mission to empower creators and bring brands closer to fans.”

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Fullscreen launched its SVOD service in April 2016 and has pushed original content like weekly talk show “Shane and Friends” and series like “Jay Versace is Stuck in the 90s.” In August, Fullscreen announced even more original series, like “Alive in Denver,” for its SVOD service.

As Variety pointed out, the outcome for those series is unclear but a Fullscreen spokesperson said they’ll likely be sold or shelved.

Fullscreen started out as a YouTube multichannel network. It was acquired by Otter Media, an AT&T and Chernin Group joint venture, in 2015 and launched its SVOD in the following year. The service was priced at $4.99 per month, similar to NBC’s Seeso, which also shut down earlier this year.

Despite Fullscreen’s setback, other services run by Otter Media-owned Ellation seem to be thriving. VRV, a multichannel SVOD that includes content from Fullscreen-owned RoosterTeeth, last month announced it now has 1 million monthly active users and plans to add new features including offline viewing.