Sony shuts down Crackle in Latin America

Sony Pictures Television is folding the Crackle Latin America subscription OTT VOD service. “After much consideration, we have decided that Crackle Latin America is not sustainable in the present highly competitive local environment,” Keith Le Goy, Sony Pictures’ president of worldwide TV distribution, wrote in a memo to staff Thursday, a copy of which was obtained by industry media Variety.

Crackle Latin America first launched in April 2012 as an ad-supported streaming service, like the US version, that is still running based on advertising. In Latin America, Crackle switched in 2016 to a subscription model distributed through Pay TV and telecom operators. Le Goy said that it reached 400,000 subscribers through 65 MSOs across 17 countries, after concluding the business isn’t economically viable.

Some Crackle originals will find a home on Sony’s Canal Sony and AXN channels in the region, which Le Goy described in the memo as ‘strong brands achieving solid growth’ that ‘among the top cable channels in Latin America’. According to the executive, ‘OTT/direct-to-consumer remains an incredibly important area for our evolving industry and we will persist in exploring other opportunities in the space’.

Crackle Latin America will shut down effective April 30, 2019, the result of Sony Pictures’ company-wide strategic review of its portfolio to prune underperforming divisions.With the shutdown, 17 employees will be let go. Crackle Latin America has been operated out of Miami with staff spread across offices in Los Angeles, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia.