VidAngel has spun off its filtering business to focus on crowd-funded online video production under the rebranded monicker, Angel Studios, citing the success of its crowd-funded hit, The Chosen, for one, as well as content in the pipeline that has been powering revenues.
Angel Studios is crowdfunding a $5 million investment in the new operation, money it says will go to building its Angel streaming app, expanding the crowdfunding platform it uses to fund its video projects, marketing the platform and, in a bit of payback, "help take creative control away from Hollywood."
At press time it had raised over $3,000,000 toward its goal, estimating the fund would close by the weekend.
According to Angel Studios, its 2020 VidAngel revenues topped $47 million, with streaming original content revenue outstripping filtering revenue at almost 10 to 1.
VidAngel.com has been spun off to a new entity, VidAngel Entertainment, with all of VidAngel investors continuing as investors in Angel Studios, according to the company.
“We tested the [crowdfunding] concept with The Chosen which has surpassed $30 million in revenue on Season One in 2020 alone, funded the production of the next season entirely from sales, and prepared Season Two for release for this spring,” said Neal Harmon, CEO of Angel Studios, in a statement. “We are building a film studio platform that helps creators and viewers create high-quality TV and Film without having to answer to the Hollywood gatekeepers."
VidAngel formerly edited DVDs, then content for streaming, to create what it argued were family friendlier versions of Hollywood fare, but following a protracted legal battle, and losing judgments, over the fact that it did not pay the "gatekeeper" studios,* the company filed for bankruptcy protection and at the same time shifted to filtering language and content for streamed versions of content it was authorized to edit for Netflix, Amazon Prime and HBO via iOS, Android and Roku.
The success of The Chosen led VidAngel's trustee to conclude last year that the company has a path to paying off the court judgment against it--the $64.2 million a court said it had to pay the studios--over the next 13 years.
*VidAngel has argued that the Family Movie Act allows it to provide edited versions of video content without getting the permission of the producers of that content or paying them for the rights to distribute the edited content.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.