Now On Xbox, SnagFilms Makes Free, Ad-Supported Indie Films Mainstream

SnagFilms wants to be THE place to catch indie films online and on various mobile and connected TV devices. And it just got onto another device, which will put its movies in front of tens of millions of new potential viewers. With an Xbox app just launched, SnagFilms is one step closer to getting on every device that matters.

Unlike some other companies, SnagFilms makes those movies available for free — or at least, with ads. That means not paying for individual movie titles, or even paying for a monthly subscription. Nope, you just go to or open a SnagFilms app and just start watching movies. Then, every eight to ten minutes, an ad shows up. It’s almost like watching regular TV. If your regular TV were full up with indie films, that is.

The newest place you can watch SnagFilms is on Xbox, where the company’s app appeared for the first time this morning. It has about 4,000 movie titles in its library, but not all of them will be available through Xbox. To start, there will be more than 200 different movies to choose from, according to CEO Rick Allen. The company generally curates the selection that viewers can choose from for every device, so it’s picked movies that it hopes will resonate with the Xbox audience.


Xbox Live will bring a huge connected audience to SnagFilms, but it’s far from the only platform that the startup has released on. In fact, SnagFilms already has a large (and growing) list of devices that its movies play on. That includes Yahoo TV, Panasonic, LG, Western Digital, Google TV, Roku, and Boxee connected devices, as well as the iPhone, iPad, Android mobile phones and tablets, the Kindle Fire, and Windows 8 phones and tablets.

While SnagFilms is trying to push its own branded and ad-supported apps to as many devices as possible, it also makes a healthy living selling various indie titles on transactional video on demand services. Case in point: Before its got its own Xbox Live app, the startup was licensing indie titles for sale through the Xbox Live store. Other VOD partners include cable and satellite giants like Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Dish Network, and DirecTV, as well as online storefronts like Amazon, Google Play, iTunes, and Vudu.

SnagFilms has raised $17 million since being founded in 2008. Investors include Ted Leonsis, New Enterprise Associates, Comcast, and Terry Semel.