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3 free ad-supported streaming services, including Crackle, are closing

3 free ad-supported streaming services, including Crackle, are closing

This week we learned that Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment is closing. The company had originally filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in an attempt to reorganize and settle its debts in order to start over. Instead, they have filed for Chapter 7 with plans to lay off 1,000 employees and cease operations.

This means that Crackle, Redbox and Popcornflix will soon be terminating their services.

The move sees the demise of one of the original free ad-supported streaming services. Crackle launched in 2004 and was acquired by Sony in 2006. It became one of the first major streaming services to legally offer 100% free ad-supported content.

In 2019, Sony sold Crackle to Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment.

Crackle’s impact on cord cutting today cannot be understated. It led the way to what is now one of the fastest growing areas of cord cutting with the launch of free, ad-supported streaming services like Tubi and Pluto TV.

The closure of Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment also has implications for Popcornflix. First launched in 2010, it was another early pioneer in the world of free, ad-supported streaming. In 2017, its parent company Screen Media Ventures was acquired by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment.

The other major streaming service affected by the closure is probably the best known: Redbox.

In 2022, Redbox was acquired by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment and the name was used to launch a new free ad-supported streaming service. Redbox streaming grew in popularity early on based on the name and gained a strong following.

Now, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment will cease operations and end its search for new funding, meaning all three of these services will be shutting down. Redbox is already down, and other services like Crackle should soon follow in its footsteps.