Southern Theatres has become the latest exhibition circuit in the United States to launch its own premium video on demand streaming platform, following in the footsteps of other circuits like AMC, Alamo Drafthouse, and Showcase Cinemas.
Southern’s streaming service will be linked directly to its “Reel Rewards” loyalty program under the chain’s Grand Theatre and AmStar Cinemas brands and will offer Premium Video on Demand (PVOD) digital rentals after a film’s theatrical run and ahead of the SVOD and premium cable windows. The service is scheduled to go live in May.
Southern Theatres partnered with OTT provider Row8 to provide the direct-to-consumer PVOD platform. Row8 counts on a robust lineup of major studios for its services, including Disney, Paramount, Sony, Warner Brothers, and Universal.
“First and foremost, having our guests view films in our theaters is our focus, however, by partnering with Row8, we see premium video on demand as an opportunity to expand our services to our movie-loving guests and Reel Rewards members in a digital, in-home format. The Row8 platform is the next step in the extension of our overall guest offerings at Southern Theatres,” said Ron Krueger, President and Chief Operating Officer of Southern Theaters, in a press release.
Row8’s Calkins added, “We think this is a big win for everyone who loves movies. As the timing for theatrical titles availabilities to the home continues to accelerate, now more than ever forward-thinking exhibitors are poised to extend their consumer relationships into the home by servicing the biggest titles at the peaks of their awareness and interest. And by doing so on the back of Row8’s significant investments in building a multi-platform national service of scale, now exhibitors of any size can compete with the larger in-home competitors.”