For streaming services, movies are kind of like the unsung hero: they don’t often get the attention that a high-profile series will, but they’re incredibly good at getting subscribers in the door. Disney, for example, uses its theatrical releases (as well as a regular cadence of Disney+ originals) to drive subscribers and its original series to keep them there.
Now Fox Nation, the streaming service from Fox News Media, wants a piece of the action.
Fox News’ streaming service for “super fans” is getting into the original movie business, greenlighting four movies for the service. The first project, an adaptation of Nancy Naigle’s novel The shell collectorwill debut on Fox Nation on September 1, with the next project to be released during the holiday season.
“What we’ve really tried to do, as we’ve done recently Duck Family Treasureis to break into new genres because that’s still the thing that drives the most growth,” said Fox Nation President Jason Klarman. The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s about differentiating the service and super-serving audiences in ways they’re not being served by other broadcasters or other brands.”
Duck Family Treasurea scavenger hunt show starring A&E’s Duck Dynasty, secured a green light after old episodes of the original reality show found a fresh audience in Fox Nation. Movies have taken a similar approach, with the service finding that some purchases (some Clint Eastwood classics, The sufferings of Christholiday movies), resonating with users, who Klarman says are sticking around for 90 minutes or more to watch.
“I think first of all, we saw the success of the movie and it fits into the whole idea of expanding into a lifestyle and entertainment service,” Klarman says, adding that by having direct control over the development process, Fox can choose individual projects in the genres that best fit their strategy.
And that strategy, at least with movies, is about reaching female viewers.
“These films are definitely aimed at the Fox News fan base, and we know that’s the type of headline [The Shell Collector] that will absolutely appeal to her, and creating unique originals that she can’t get anywhere else is certainly part of the strategy to drive growth,” says Klarman.
While cable news is often associated with an older, more male-skewed audience, Fox Nation is trying to create a broad tentpole of programming from female-skewing genres like real estate shows and true crime, as well as awards shows. distorted by men such as policemen and military-themed programming.
In the film space, Klarman says projects with military and patriotic themes, true crime, religious themes and holiday films are among the core genres being explored, with the goal of launching a new original film every few months.
“We know our audience goes and watches real estate shows on other platforms and other places, but now they can watch real estate shows on our platform,” says Klarman. “There are other places that have some of these things, but they don’t have all the things that our audience likes in one place.”
But it is also something of a test. Movies, after all, can be expensive to produce (though Fox Nation isn’t spending Batgirl money in his originals), the question is whether they succeed in driving subscribers and watching time.
“It’s an experiment and we’re trying something new,” says Klarman. “We make these educated guesses based on the behavior we see on the platform and our deep understanding of the audience.”