Acorn TV Ups Unique Viewers Seeking British Fare22 Jan, 2014 By: Erik Gruenwedel
With “Downton Abbey” underscoring increased U.S. consumer demand for British television series, web-based Acorn TV has quietly filled the void licensing content from across the pond since 2011.
Acorn TV is the first British TV-centric subscription streaming service ($4.99 monthly, $49.99 annually) in North America. Subscribers also receive free shipping on all packaged-media orders from Acorn's catalog and website, AcornOnline.com.
The platform, which is also available via Roku media players, generated nearly 4 million visits in 2013, and in the past six months has grown unique weekly visitors 475%, according to RLJ Entertainment, which owns Acorn TV parent Acorn Media Group and Image Entertainment.
RLJ CEO Miguel Penella, who previously headed Acorn Media Group, said the increased consumer adoption is due to U.K. series such as “Doc Martin”; “Agatha Christie’s Poirot,” featuring David Suchet; Australian noir “Jack Irish,” starring Guy Pearce; archaeological reality series “Time Team”; U.K. series “Vera,” starring two-time Oscar nominee Brenda Blethyn; longtime series “Midsomer Murders”; as well as streaming the newest episodes of acclaimed detective series “Foyle's War,” which RLJ Entertainment owns all rights to.
“RLJ Entertainment has worked aggressively the last two years to create and program a subscription service that can fill the void for the millions of Americans craving high quality British content,” Penella said in a statement. “With tripling our subscriber base and reaching record-setting views, 2013 was a breakthrough year for Acorn TV.”