FilmOn Acquires World's Largest Privately Owned Film Library

written by: Richard Kastelein

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FilmOn1FilmOn CEO Alki David has announced the acquisition of the CineBx Library with 40 other catalogues such as that of Allied Entertainment, A1 Entertainment, Four Star, and HanVideo. Together these collections include over 10,000 films and 10,000 hours of historical television footage. The addition of this substantial list to FilmOn's already hefty offerings builds on the company's strategy as a major licensor and acquirer of quality long-form content.

"Our global audience of tens of millions of users has made it clear that they want more and more quality content to be available on FilmOn," said David. "In addition to our ongoing licensing of content, the CineBx acquisition is the first step in our 2014 push to add entire libraries to FilmOn's free VOD service as well as expanding other distribution channels and technologies."

FilmOn has created a state of the art restoration and digitalization facility in Irvine, California to preserve these rare films and videos and prepare them for the public's consumption.

The largest part of the acquisition is the Allied Entertainment Library, originally formed in 1982 before it joined with Viacom and Gill Cable to program the early cable channel Classic Movie Channel. The management has continued to acquire and preserve rare film and television content.

Highlights include: John Cassavetes' seven lost films, rare features and shorts by Robert Altman, Stanley Kubrick and uncut versions of Orson Welles' films. Other directors include: John Ford, Frank Capra, John Huston, Roman Polanski, Bernardo Bertolucci, Federico Fellini, Alfred Hitchcock, Sydney Lumet, Ingmar Bergman, and Otto Preminger.

There are 640 Westerns (22 starring John Wayne and 24 directed by Quentin Tarantino favorite William Whitney), 150 Broadway musical films, 50 Blaxploitation titles, 18 Bruce Lee related titles, and countless war films and television documentaries. There are comedies from Steve Martin, Johnny Carson, Bill Murray, Richard Pryor, Robin Williams, Abbot & Costello, Buster Keaton, Lucille Ball, the Marx Bros., and Mel Brooks.

Classic television is represented with shows from pioneers like Ed Sullivan and Milton Berle to the golden age of talk shows with Steve Allen and Jack Paar to TV news of Edward R. Murrow. Classic soap operas, game shows and the cartoons of Hannah Barbera will provide for massive binge viewing.

The acquisition includes one of the largest catalogues of Olympic sports documentaries ever assembled, covering thousands of world athletes facing the cameras at the moment of their triumphs between 1949-2010.

The collection has a robust section of music documentaries with rare footage of hundreds of artists including Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Frank Zappa, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. And it includes the archives of the Beatles' first music company, founded before Apple Corp.

"We have music historians going through our vaults cataloging this great collection of original recordings from the Sixties and Seventies," David said. "And the historic music and sports libraries are also part of FilmOn's transformative push into live events with its new hologram business."

As a recent executive brief from SNL Kagan said,

"Regardless of how the Supreme Court rules in the Aereo case, FilmOn will still have a viable business model…. Those services and platforms that have compelling content will ultimately prevail over competitive services and platforms that do not."

These additions join FilmOn's already robust content offerings which include 600 streaming television channels and now over 90,000 VODs. The new films and videos are streaming live on FilmOn's Living History Channel, Chillings Channel, Shock Masters Channel, and TV Gold Channel, and 700 are already available on FilmOn's VOD service.

About the Author

Richard Kastelein
Founder of The Hackfest, publisher of TV App Market and global expert on Media & TV innovation, Kastelein is an award winning publisher and futurist. He has guest lectured at MIT Media Lab, University of Cologne, sat on media convergence panel at 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels, and worked with broadcasters such as the BBC, NPO, RTL (DE and NL), Eurosport, NBCU, C4, ITV, Seven Network and others on media convergence strategy - Social TV, OTT, DLNA and 2nd Screen etc.

He is a Fellow of the UK Royal Society of Arts (RSA) and UK Royal Television Society (RTS) member.

Kastelein has spoken (& speaking) on the future of media & TV in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Brussels, Brighton, Copenhagen, Cannes, Cologne, Curacao, Frankfurt, Hollywood, Hilversum, Geneva, Groningen (TEDx), Kuala Lumpur, London, Las Vegas, Leipzig, Madrid, Melbourne, NYC, Rio, Sheffield, San Francisco, San Jose, Sydney, Tallinn, Vienna, Zurich...

He's been on advisory boards of TEDx Istanbul, SMWF UK, Apps World, and judged & AIB awards, Social TV Awards Hollywood, TV Connect & IPTV Awards.

A versatilist & autodidact, his leadership ability, divergent and synthetic thinking skills evolved from sailing the world 24000 miles+ offshore in his 20′s on sailboats under 12m.

He spent 10 years in the Caribbean media & boating industry as a professional sailor before returning to Europe, to Holland.

A Creative Technologist and Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Metis) his career began in the Canadian Native Press and is now a columnist for The Association for International Broadcasting and writes for Wired, The Guardian & Virgin. His writings have been translated into Polish, German and French. 

One of Kastelein's TV formats was optioned by Sony Pictures Television in 2012. 

Currently involved in a number of startups including publishing TV App Market online, The Hackfest and Tripsearch TV. As CSO for Worldticketshop he helped build a $100m company.

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