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Acorn TV Doubles Subscriber Base

16 May, 2016 By: Erik Gruenwedel

British-flavored SVOD service topped 260,000 subs in Q1

Acorn TV, the $4.99 monthly subscription streaming service almost as old as Netflix featuring British TV shows and movies, doubled its subscriber base to 260,000 in the first quarter, ended March 31. The RLJ Entertainment-owned property ended the previous-year quarter with 130,000 subs. As of April 30, the sub base climbed to about 280,000.

RLJ Entertainment, which was formed in 2012 by the merger of Image Entertainment and Acorn Media Group, distributes content in multiple formats including broadcast television, theatrical and non-theatrical, DVD, Blu-ray Disc, digital download and digital streaming.

Wholesale partners include Amazon, Netflix, Walmart, Target, Costco, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, BET, Showtime, PBS, DirecTV and Hulu.

RLJ Entertainment reported a quarterly loss of $13.4 million on revenue of $22.8 million, compared with a loss of $10.6 million on revenue of $26.1 million during the previous-year period. The distributor attributed the revenue decline in part on management’s decision to exit the direct-to-consumer catalog business.

Despite lower revenue, gross profit increased by 10.1% to $6 million. Gross margins for the quarter increased to 26.4% compared with 20.9% during the first quarter of 2015. This improvement in gross margin is primarily attributable to the growth of our proprietary SVOD channels, which deliver a higher profit margin.

"We implemented our plan to exit the print catalog business, which resulted in improved operational cash flows. The continued subscriber growth of our proprietary digital channels offsets lower revenues from our decision to shut down unprofitable lines of business,” CEO Miguel Penella said in a statement.

In addition to Acorn TV, RLJ Entertainment operates Urban Movie Channel. Both properties are part of Amazon Prime’s upstart Streaming Partners Platform.

“We are also pleased with the recent recognition received for Acorn TV and its award-winning programming,” Penella said. 

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