Online streaming service Crackle is set to release Startup, a scripted drama to compete with top brand content distributors.
Over the course of the past several years, online streaming services have seen an extreme boom in business. With services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon it comes to no surprise that most consumers are looking towards online content to catch the next big hit. Crackle, which is Sony Picture Entertainment’s streaming service, has never excelled in becoming a household name like its counterparts, but is expected to change that in the upcoming weeks.
Founded in 2000, and then rebranded in 2007, Crackle offers a wide mix of compelling cinema, never before heard of films, and a random selection of television. While its probably not the first place you’d go to find something to watch, critically acclaimed movies like The Blues Brothers and Crash can all be streamed on the site, but not without a catch – it’s FREE. What seems to set Crackle apart from its rivals is that you don’t have to pay a dime to view its content, while Netflix and Hulu subscriptions will set you back over ten dollars. While there might be some truth in the old saying: “you get what you pay for,” that is all about to change, according to Eric Berger, the VP of digital for Sony. Berger stated “I think there’s room in the market for a lot of players. There’s no one silver bullet solution, but as people start to create their own new bundle of streaming services, there is room for high quality content that is free.”
In most recent years, Crackle has branched out to include more original content and productions that cannot be found anywhere else. SuperMansion and The Art of More have been the site’s first shot at producing original content, but it hasn’t necessarily put them on par with everyone. It was announced earlier this year that Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, which is labeled as “A Crackle Original,” has received its first Emmy nomination, scoring a breakthrough in recognition for the Crackle brand (who have also been nominated this year for SuperMansion). Eric Berger expressed that “it’s a great feeling to be supported in that way by your peers.” With the debut of the highly anticipated StartUp, Crackle could see a lot more traffic over the course of the next few weeks, and possibly more Emmy noms in the future.
While it isn’t the first original for the streaming service, StartUp could potentially put Crackle on the map. With a semi A-List cast, including Martin Freeman and Adam Brody, this hour-long drama will debut with 10 episodes, and centers around, you guessed it – a start-up. Freeman stars as a crooked FBI agent chasing three “tech entrepreneurs,” played by Brody, Edi Gathegi, and Otmara Marrero, after they enlist stolen finances to create a new digital currency, GenCoin. Creator and showrunner Ben Ketai said, “Crackle is now creating content that will be able to compete with streaming services. Our show is hopefully a really strong start to that.”
StartUp airs on Crackle.com September 6th, with an exclusive premiere of the first episode currently streaming on Reddit.