On June 20, 2019, Mill Creek Entertainment sent out the following Press Release:
Emerging from the over-saturated subscription-based streaming marketplace, leading independent home entertainment distributor, Mill Creek Entertainment, is pleased to announce the launch of transaction-based streaming service movieSPREE. This new streaming alternative gives movie buffs and cord-cutters an exciting new destination to build a digital library. With apps now available on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Android devices, movieSPREE is available without long-term contracts, subscription fees or advertisements.
movieSPREE has a robust assortment of bingeworthy film and TV bundles, genre-based collections and specially curated compilations including Lonesome Dove, The 10th Kingdom, The Kids in the Hall, Documentary Now!, Benji, Gone in 60 Seconds and over 2500 hours of entertainment. movieSPREE offers a whole new way to build a digital content library where all users will receive an offer to redeem 100 free movies which will be added to their library.
“The establishment of movieSPREE is an important growth opportunity for us,” states Patrick McDonough, EVP of Sales & Marketing for Mill Creek Entertainment. “As the content distribution model shifts to a direct-to-consumer strategy, building our own streaming service allows us to connect to our customers and showcase our entertainment offerings in a meaningful and targeted way.”
Many of Mill Creek Entertainment’s DVD and Blu-ray releases include digital redemption offers which will allow end users to add to their movieSPREE library. Content can be streamed from the movieSPREE apps and website using your phone, tablet, laptop or supported OTT devices. movieSPREE also features exclusive content and offers that do not have a DVD or Blu-ray counterpart or availability on other streaming platforms.
movieSPREE has collaborated with leading OTT content distribution provider ViewLift to create a cohesive customer experience across web, mobile, and connected devices. “The ViewLift team is thrilled to partner with Mill Creek Entertainment to launch movieSPREE,” states ViewLift President Manik Bambha. “Our alliance showcases the robust features and functionality of a backend system developed by the ViewLift team. ViewLift’s monetization and distribution expertise launched movieSPREE, which will help cinephiles watch movies they love and introduce new viewers to great films.” ViewLift’s end-to-end distribution and monetization platform provides a comprehensive solution that allows real-time publishing across all movieSPREE apps and sites.
Mill Creek Entertainment has established itself as the leading independent home entertainment studio in North America. From special edition Complete TV Series releases including The Shield, Married…With Children, and Roseanne, to special edition SteelBook® release of Mothra and an entire lineup of Retro VHS-style movies on Blu-ray, Mill Creek’s extensive catalog contains both mainstream and cult entertainment offerings that have exceeded performance expectations at retail despite the declining packaged media industry reports.
I signed up for my free account, but adding their app to my Roku device was a bit tricky. Searching for “movieSpree” came up empty, mostly because the app on Roku is called simply “Spree.” I then redeemed my 100 free movies by entering the code MOVIESPREE100FREE on the redemption page on their website. Unfortunately, at this time, accessing an individual movie in this free promo bundle is a bit confusing. You need to go to press the “*” button on your Roku Remote, selecting “My Spree” from the drop down, then “My Library,” select the “movieSPREE 100 Free” bundle, and you can select any of the titles listed on the screen. Most of the selections are public domain or bottom of the barrel movies that most people have forgotten even existed (Werewolf of Washington, Hercules Unchained, ), and the quality is about the level of VHS. There are some more recent movies, mostly made-for-TV (Pandemic, Gleason), that are in widescreen and DVD quality (as far as I could tell) with PCM stereo audio. Some of the movies are even misrepresented – A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, for example, shows a poster for the film starring Bing Crosby, but the actual movie is the 1955 live TV production with Eddie Albert and Boris Karloff. But, hey, these movies are “free,” so I really can’t complain too much. If this is to be the service for Mill Creek’s digital copy redemption, I wish them well. Although, I doubt the service will include any titles licensed to Mill Creek by major studios such as Sony or Universal.