Online film distributor SnagFilms got a big boost in 2012, as it expanded to new platforms and made its free, ad-supported indie movies available to tens of millions of new viewers. With that momentum behind it, the startup has raised an additional $6 million to expand even further.
The new funding includes existing investors, such as Ted Leonsis, New Enterprise Associates, Comcast Ventures, and Terry Semel. But it also includes participation from CNF Investments, an affiliate of Clark Enterprises. Prior to today’s announcement, SnagFilms has raised $17 million since being founded, bringing total funding to $23 million since 2008.
SnagFilms launched with an interesting alternative to subscription VOD services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video. Rather than charge a monthly subscription fee for access to its indie film titles online and through mobile and connected TV apps, Snagfilms makes those movies available for free. But there’s a tiny catch — those movies all have ads inserted at various points throughout.
SnagFilms is announcing its funding at the Sundance Film Festival, and really, what better place to do it, especially as the company seeks to add new and interesting content to its film library. SnagFilms already has 4,000 titles available today, but is looking to use its new funding to expand that number to 5,000 by mid-year. In addition to new film titles, we can probably also expect to see SnagFilms trying to introduce new apps and new devices that it plays on.
SnagFilms currently has apps available of the iPhone and iPad, Android mobile phones and tablets, and the Xbox Live platform, as well as devices from manufacturers such as Yahoo TV, Panasonic, LG, Western Digital, Google TV, Roku, and Boxee. It also has a VOD option on cable systems that include Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Dish Network, and DirecTV, as well as online storefronts like Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, and Vudu.