Category Archives: Filtering

Why We Don’t Do Disney

Hello VidAngel Family,

 

At VidAngel we provide filters for a lot of movies and TV shows. This year we’re offering about 1000 new movies and episodes every quarter. That’s an average of 10 new titles every day. But at some point our customers will search for a movie or TV show they cannot find. Sometimes it may be a show that’s off the beaten path. Maybe a hidden gem we didn’t know about. When that’s the case, please tell us. We’re usually willing to bend over backwards to take care of our customers, (unless they want filters for
250 episodes of M*A*S*H, which they remember fondly from 1978).

There are some movies and TV shows we don’t filter because of their studio affiliation. As many of our long-time customers know, VidAngel fought an extended and costly battle with Hollywood in a fight to keep filtering alive. The instigators of the litigation were Disney and Warner Brothers.

For four years VidAngel fought for the rights of you, our members, to control how you experience media in your home. So when Disney chose to settle, it was cause for celebration. Our business was intact. Our customers stuck with us (thank you!). And you can still watch filtered TV and movies in your home.

However, part of that agreement was that we would not filter content from the plaintiff studios or their affiliates—which means the Disney universe (Hulu, HBO, Fox, Newline, Touchstone, Lucasfilm, Searchlight, Marvel) and Warner Brothers. We’re hoping that Disney and its partners have a change of heart.

We will keep trying as well. We consider it our mission. In the meantime, can I suggest you try one of our other 2500 movies or 10,000 TV episodes? Try searching by category on our home page. You should find plenty that you and your family will enjoy.

 

Thank you,


Bill Aho
CEO, VidAngel

Introducing VidAngel Entertainment

Hello VidAngel Family,

I am pleased to tell all VidAngel customers that a new company, VidAngel Entertainment, is now running the VidAngel filtering business.  We purchased the assets from the former VidAngel Inc., which has been rebranded as Angel Studios and is now focused exclusively on a quest to redefine the studio business with an innovative model and a commitment to positive content.

This change officially took place on March 1st and the experience for most of our customers has been seamless. We had a couple of small hiccups, but when problems arise, we jump to fix them, day or night.

Our commitment to filtering is stronger than ever.  And while our company is new, our team is not.  We brought with us all the employees that have been working on VidAngel filtering—because they love the product and care deeply about our customers.  I have also been involved in filtering in the past.  I was formerly the CEO of ClearPlay and spent years fighting Hollywood and, eventually, getting Congress to pass The Family Movie Act.

Many people are aware of the lawsuit that VidAngel also fought with the studios the past four years, which resulted in the company filing for bankruptcy.  What some people don’t know is that the lawsuit has been successfully settled, the bankruptcy closed and behind us and the VidAngel filtering business is alive and well and growing rapidly.  Already through the first three months of this year, we’ve released filters for nearly 1000 movies and television shows.

We are also pleased to have Season 2 of The Chosen available to VidAngel subscribers.  This critically acclaimed series has been wildly successful and some families have found that they enjoy it even more with some mild filtering, which is available on our site.

We are making a few changes.  We’re increasing investment in the product technology, which has been neglected while the company was in litigation.  And we’ve added to our Customer Support team, to make sure that when you have questions, we’re ready with answers.  And finally, the VidAngel filtering business is growing again, which is fun and exciting for all of us.

We love to hear from our customers, with personal testimonials, or suggestions for how we can do even better.  Sometimes people will ask how they can help support our cause.  The best way is to tell your friends.  Over 50% of our new members heard about VidAngel from a friend or family member.  We are humbled to have so many word-of-mouth endorsements and promise to do everything in our power to delight each customer.  There’s nothing that makes us happier than when a customer says that VidAngel has blessed their families.

 

Thank you all,

Bill Aho

CEO, VidAngel Entertainment, Inc.

 

Letter to Shareholders

May 5, 2020

 

Friends of VidAngel,

VidAngel exists to help you make entertainment good for your home. 

What is good for each of our homes is a personal choice. We’ve long known the motto “Be our guest.” At VidAngel, we believe “We’re your guest.” 

After all, it’s your home.

You choose how to watch. In 2013, we started developing software that was essentially a pre-programmed streaming remote. We have now gone through 6 successive attempts to build your skipping software. In each iteration, we hit a wall. We were sued over iteration number four, struggled through bankruptcy, and today Disney continues to oppose iteration number 6. We’re continuing to push through that for you, and in the meantime, we’re providing access to arguably the most exciting content of the COVID-19 era, produced by Netflix, Amazon and other streaming services. Watch however the BLEEP you want.

You choose what we make. In 2017, armed with the data around the skip choices families are making, we launched Dry Bar Comedy. Over 300 comedians have now performed, fine-tuning their sets to the audience and receiving  bonuses for better serving you. Additionally, with the help of 19,000 of you, we funded, produced, and distributed the award-winning dramatic series The Chosen

And you have responded. In April 2020, our business generated 5X the revenue of our skipping software pre-injunction. Dry Bar has over 2 billion views. The Chosen is offered globally, in dozens of languages, has tens of millions of views, and millions of dollars in revenue via its own app. It has been the #1 series on VidAngel for months. 

We hear you. 

Five. Times. Revenue.

 

So what’s next?

After emerging from bankruptcy (we hope during the June 18, 2020 confirmation hearing), we plan to raise up to $50 million to grow VidAngel. 

Our goal with these funds will be:

  1. Give our loyal investors, without whom we would not exist today, a chance to liquidate some of their shares (some people may need cash due to COVID-19 and won’t be able to wait for a potentially larger return). 
  2. Back many more creator projects, like The Chosen and Dry Bar Comedy, by building creator tools for:
    • – daily financial reporting and monthly payments (currently quarterly)
    • – better audience interaction (e.g. live streams, merchandise, uploads, notifications)
    • – creator cross-promotion (i.e. a simple way for The Chosen and Dry Bar to promote new creators’ projects with their massive audiences)
  3. Build better control over more content, allowing you, for example, to:
    • – find the very best content to watch or the best future content to back (rather than the primary focus being on skipping objectionable content)
    • – say exactly what kids are allowed to browse (specific list of approved titles with pre-set skips)
    • – watch with skips without having to wait for us to tag it (say hello to SkipBot and community made skips)

Thank you for trusting VidAngel as a guest in your home. We aim to build an entertainment company that centers around your kingdom, not ours. The best days are yet ahead.

 

Onward,

Neal Harmon

Co-founder and CEO

 

Click here for VidAngel’s SEC Reports

VUDU Family Play Mode

Last week, Walmart’s VUDU announced a new feature called “Family Play Mode” which automatically skips sex, violence, profanity, and drug use in 500 movies. This is the most significant development in parental and family content skipping since we launched VidAngel in 2013. 

Here is what we know so far:

– They offer Disney content

– They are supporting modern streaming devices like iOS, Android, XBOX One and a few smart TVs 

– They offer 500 PG and PG-13 titles

Some backlash:

– Filmmaker discussion boards online have exploded in shock and anger.

– Commenters across social media are predicting that Family Play will be shut down by pressure from the DGA.

– When Sony announced a similar initiative back in 2017, they were attacked by the Directors Guild of America and leading Hollywood content-makers. Eventually, due to significant pressure, took “Clean Version” down.

We congratulate VUDU and Walmart on being the first major player to catch the vision of skipping. 

How you can help Senator Mike Lee update the Family Movie Act

Senator Mike Lee is preparing to introduce an update to the Family Movie Act in the Senate. This important message from the CEO of VidAngel, Neal Harmon, and a letter from the President of the Parents Television Council, Tim Winter, explains how you can help.


Video Message from VidAngel:
(Can’t see the video? Click here.)


Letter from Parents Television Council:

As a parent, nothing is more important than protecting a child’s innocence.

And, as a veteran of the entertainment industry, the truth is that there are many in Hollywood who are actively engaged in creating content that strips that innocence away from our kids, damaging lives forever.

You know this already, that’s why you use and support VidAngel, because its incredible content filtering technology protects your family. The Parents Television Council wants to protect your right to filter out the graphic sex, violence and profanity that is so pervasive in today’s media, but I need your help.

Hollywood is fighting to remove your parental right to use content filtering technology for modern streaming devices.  They’ve convinced judges that you shouldn’t be able to use modern technologies to protect your family from material that you find harmful or offensive.

If we don’t act now, and if we don’t act together, we may lose that right forever. Please contact your senator to support your right to filter explicit content.

Legislation is being considered in Washington DC that will block the negative forces in Hollywood from taking away your right to use filtering technologies like VidAngel.  If that legislative remedy is to succeed, we need bipartisan support from the most influential legislators. That’s why your senator needs to hear from you today.

HOW YOU CAN PROTECT KIDS RIGHT NOW.  Please click on the link and send your personal plea to your Senator so that your rights to filter content are protected. It will only take a minute or two, but it will help you and your family for decades to come.

With urgent thanks,

Tim Winter

President

Parents Television Council