Sony acquires Pure Flix
The investment in the American faith-based streaming platform shows the weight of Christian consumers as a niche market.
Affirm Entertainment, Christianity Today · NEW YORK · 19 NOVEMBER 2020 · 17:00 CET
Affirm Entertainment - a label of Sony Pictures Entertainment - is acquiring Pure Flix, the well-known American faith-based internet video on demand platform.
In closing this agreement, the Japanese company continues to focus on the Christian target market.
Affirm Films was launched by Sony in 2007 and has become the most successful faith-based film studio in history,
With the acquisition of the video platform of Pure Flix, with over 350,000 subscribers in the United States and in Canada, Sony Pictures hopes to “continue to grow and delight audiences with well-curated faith and family entertainment”, the company said.
Pure Flix’s streaming platform is inspired in Netflix and similar entertainment services that have grown massively in the last decade. Pure Flix Entertainment, the company's film production arm, is not included in the agreement with Affirm Entertainment.
The ‘Christian market’
Films for Christian consumers have proved to be a profitable business not only in North America but also in other regions. Cinemas in Latin America and Europe have increasingly displayed films such as Soul Surfer, Risen, Fireproof, The Star, Paul, Apostle of Christ and War Room, all of them distributed by Affirm Entertainment.
The most successful titles of Pure Flix Entertainment include the series God’s Not Dead, The Case For Christ, and Unplanned. In 2021, the release of Redeeming Love is expected.
“No one would think at the beginning of this decade that streaming platforms were going to have an economic viability”, culture critic José de Segovia told Evangelical Focus in an interview. It is “the middle-aged adult audience” who has helped boost the online entertainment market.
“Now there is a specialised audience that is looking for very particular products”. In the US, megachurches have “helped these faith-based products have a huge box office impact”, De Segovia explains. This would explain the production of “more and more films oriented to this type of ‘spiritual audience’.