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Red Vs. Blue studio launches SVOD service

Fullscreen-owned digital studio Rooster Teeth has formally launched an SVOD tier for its online programming.

Rooster Teeth First will be the brand name for company’s paid-for video services, with a premium tier option called Double Gold added.

Rooster Teeth has offered subscription on-demand services for 13 years, with users offered to become ‘sponsors’ with early access to video and 5% of merchandising for US$4.99 a month.

Rooster Teeth First will be priced at US$4.99 a month or US$19.99 (US$3.33 a month) for six months, and offer exclusive programming, vlogs, live broadcasts, extended cut content from shows such as RWBY and merch discounts.

Existing Rooster Teeth subs will be grandfathered into their existing rates, though they will lose this if they update to Double Gold status.

Double Gold subscribers will pay US$34.99 a month or US$179.99 for six months for a 10% discount rate, a monthly merchandise box, early access to VIP live events, giveaways and a monthly Q&A.

Rooster Teeth claims the value of this tiers is more than US$60 a month to each sub.

The premium content slate includes Crunch Time, a half-hour sci-fi action comedy starring Nick Rutherford and Sam Levine, a live broadcast series, and four documentaries including World’s Greatest Head Massage. Rooster Teeth already offers shows such as recently-released drama Day 5, animated series RWBY and the long-running Red Vs. Blue.

“As Rooster Teeth has evolved from the primordial ooze of early online video, so has Sponsorship [First’s previous identity], which has grown into a full-fledged subscription video service,” said Matt Hullum, Rooster Teeth’s co-founder. “Now, the time has come to create a distinct identity for that subscription platform, and that identity is Rooster Teeth First.”

Many SVOD platforms for millennial audiences have emerged over the past few years, including the new service Rooster Teeth parent Fullscreen recently created.

Hullum added that the company was “not blind to the saturation of the SVOD market”, but believed “what we’re offering with First and Double Gold, especially, is wholly unique to us and our community-driven strategy. The media companies that will succeed in this market need to be deeply engaged with their community, and that’s been our strength all along”.

Austin-based Rooster Teeth expects First to hit 200,000 subscribers by year-end.

In related news, Fullscreen has commissioned New Form Digital to produce an original stop motion series, Dr. Havoc’s Diary. It will be the MCN and SVOD company’s first animated show, and will follow a mid-level super-villain hell bent on taking over the world while dealing his biggest problem: his wife.