Shares of media distribution company Cinedigm (CIDM 3.66%) popped on Monday after the company announced the launch of a new streaming-video channel called Fantawild. As of noon EDT, the stock was up almost 9%.
Fantawild Animation is a popular animation studio in Asia. Its Boonie Bears franchise is especially popular in China. And it's not just the movies. Boonie Bears merchandise generates over $400 million in annual revenue in China as well. Its content is already distributed internationally through streaming-TV partners like Netflix and Walt Disney's Hulu. But Cinedigm will now help Fantawild Animation gain traction in North America through its own dedicated Fantawild streaming channel.
Fantawild will be an ad-supported linear streaming channel, meaning you won't be able to play content on demand. Rather, like traditional TV, you can only watch what's broadcasting at the time. However, the new film Boonie Bears: The Wild Life will be released for purchase or rental through the channel. After a period of time, the title will join Fantawild's regular scheduled programming.
Cinedigm's revenue fell 26% year over year in 2020 to $39 million. Therefore, while it's fair to question how much revenue a channel like Fantawild can generate for Cinedigm, when you're talking about a company this small and with revenue this low, it doesn't take much to move the needle. And that's certainly working in its favor here.
For now, Cinedigm will try to find the balance between profits and spending on marketing. While Fantawild is popular in Asia, it's relatively obscure in North America, which will make it hard to take off without spending to promote it.