Crackle streaming service acting like TV network

AP News
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Posted: Apr 14, 2015 4:20 PM
Crackle streaming service acting like TV network

NEW YORK (AP) — The Crackle video streaming service, known best for Jerry Seinfeld's motorized interview series with fellow comics, says it wants to be more like a traditional television network.

Starting next month, the Crackle website will run a constant video stream of programming on a set schedule, its executives said Tuesday. Currently, people can click on Crackle's programming options and stream them whenever they want, an option that will be preserved.

Network chief Eric Berger said that while many Crackle users connecting through smart TVs or video consoles like the freedom to click on what they want, they miss the "serendipity" of tuning in and being exposed to something new.

Crackle is ad-supported and its video streams are free to consumers, unlike other subscription streaming services like Netflix. The new linear channel gives advertisers a more traditional option if they are seeking it, and for the first time Tuesday Crackle held a TV network-like event to show off new programming plans to advertisers.

Also unlike some other streaming services, the Nielsen company will be able to provide details about how many people are watching their programming, Berger said.

The new service begins rolling out next month on Roku devices and on other platforms during the summer.

Seinfeld is beginning his sixth season of "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee," and will feature Steve Harvey, Bill Maher, Stephen Colbert and new "The Daily Show" host Trevor Noah in upcoming episodes. He said the show recently went past 100 million views over its history.

"To me, it's really television," Seinfeld said. "It's television. Television means the transmission of video pictures. It's just a simple way to put a show out there without a lot of complexity."

Besides "Comedians," Crackle is continuing with another popular entry, a sports version of the game show "Jeopardy!"

In the next year, Crackle will also introduce its first scripted drama, "The Art of More," about the high-stakes world of auction houses and starring Dennis Quaid and Kate Bosworth. It will air its first animated series, "SuperMansion," featuring Bryan Cranston's voice, and stream a sequel to the movie "Joe Dirt" with David Spade.