Here’s the latest from the crossroads of faith, media & culture: 05/20/22

Power to the People. As noted here Wednesday, this is the week of the Upfronts, the annual rite when the traditional broadcast networks and now streamers unveil their wares for the upcoming (2022-23) TV season. People can argue about the differences between broadcasters and streamers (many of which share corporate parents) in terms of quality but one thing they certainly have in common is a top-down approach in which they more or less inform the audience about what they will be offered to watch.

Things are actually a bit different at Angel StudiosThe streaming platform the rest of the industry doesn’t want you to know about is behind many of the most successful crowdfunded shows of all time, including the hit biblical drama The Chosen. Crowdfunded means that what actually gets made and supported is chosen (so to speak) by viewers as opposed to advertisers or entertainment industry executives.

So, while the other networks and streamers were doing their thing, Angel Studios announced more than $100 million in new original content at its Illuminate ‘22 event that streamed live directly to its investors (aka the aforementioned audience). The occasion (which was recorded and you can watch at the end of this post) featured key announcements about the company’s upcoming original content lineup. With the help of venture capital firms that see the value of allowing the audience to choose content, Angel continues to use its innovative crowdfunding model to empower an audience craving for films and TV shows that, as the company’s slogan goes, “amplify light” while providing a viable family-friendly alternative to Hollywood. 

Talking about the new Angel Studios slate, CEO Neal Harmon said “We’re thrilled at the caliber of content that the Angel Studios investors selected for crowdfunding this year, validating our thesis that the crowd will make better decisions than a few executives. The success of The ChosenTuttle Twins, and Dry Bar Comedy is now leading to incredible new series like Luso and movies like David, totaling in production budgets of over $100 million.”
He also noted that “Angel went from the verge of bankruptcy to $123 million in revenue in one year. This success is fueled by the global popularity of shows funded by 50,000 Angel investors, everyday people who have united together to make the media they want to see in the world.” 

With a plan to reach one-billion viewers worldwide by 2025, Angel’s current programming slate includes Season 3 of The Chosen, Season 2 of Tuttle Twins, Season 2 of The Lion and the Dance and Season 10 of Dry Bar Comedy as well as the first season of the new animated adventure The Wingfeather Saga.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

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