Each month, 18 million U.S. viewers access the Sony-owned, advertising-supported streaming network Crackle. But despite popular shows like Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Crackle still has a it of an identity crisis as it looks to make a name for itself among the likes of Netflix and Amazon.
That’s the challenge for Crackle’s general manager Eric Berger, who is making his loudest statement yet by moving Crackle out of the NewFronts, held primarily for digital enterprises, and into the upfronts, generally reserved for the major TV networks, on April 14.
At Adweek, I spoke with Berger about a number of topics, including his bold upfront movie, why Crackle didn’t stream The Interview last December and why he didn’t pick up the Sony-owned Community when it was looking for a home last summer:
It’s a great show. It didn’t fit in our slate at the time. Everything that we’ve done on the scripted series side to date has not been comedy. They’ve all been action, drama and thrillers. Features are different—with Joe Dirt, obviously, but the other features are action, horror and zombie type of stuff that fares really well for us.
There’s a lot more from Berger, who hopes to finally put the “What’s Crackle?” question to bed once and for all.
For my first story of 2015, I looked at one of the biggest head-scratchers in The Interview’s strange saga: why Sony dropped the ball on the chance to boost the profile of its own streaming site, Crackle. As I wrote at Quartz,
Yet despite a New York Post report on December 21st that Sony was going to stream The Interview on Crackle, a studio source tells Quartz that Crackle was not considered as part of The Interview’s digital strategy, given that the free site has no mechanism in place for charging consumers the $5.99 rental and $14.99 purchase fee for the film that the other VOD outlets have been offering.
Still, this is a major missed opportunity for Crackle, which has been trying to lure new viewers with several new original films and series (though only one, Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, seems to have any real traction).
This would seem to be the last Interview story I’ll do for awhile, but never say never…
Yesterday, everyone was talking about the Seinfeld reunion that aired during the Super Bowl. As I wrote at Quartz,
While social media immediately began buzzing about the spot, which Seinfeld put together with the help of Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, it wasn’t actually a Super Bowl ad. Neither Seinfeld nor Sony, which owns Crackle, paid FOX any money for the segment, according to The New York Times. Instead, FOX reached out to Seinfeld and asked him to put together a feature segment to help the network kick off its halftime coverage.
A longer version of the reunion ran as part of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld’s web series for Crackle.