Christian streaming services see spike in viewers as families turn to faith-based shows in lockdown

TV using a streaming service.
TV using a streaming service.

Thousands of families have relied on streaming media services for entertainment while they shelter-in-place during state lockdowns and Christian streaming services in particular are seeing a rise in viewership and membership. 

Pure Flix, a service offered on a variety of devices, features a mix of family-friendly and Christian entertainment for all ages. Among its content are nostalgic films and shows such as “Family Affair,” “Bonanza,” and “Lucy” along with many others. A representative of the service told The Christian Post that they had seen a 40% increase in membership since the shelter-at-home orders began in March.

Pure Flix says it provides viewers with “trustworthy content for their families” and parents don't have to worry that their children might view inappropriate content. Some viewers started their Pure Flix membership during a free promotional offer as states instituted lockdown orders that required business to shut down and Americans to stay home. The family friendly streaming service also allowed its members to pay-it-forward by covering membership costs for others who can't afford it and Pure Flix matched their  contributions.

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“We are in an unprecedented time that has left so many with doubts, concerns and questions. Pure Flix believes the family is of critical importance during such uncertainty. So we're working to inspire audiences through faith and family-friendly TV shows, movies, original series and educational programs,” Michael Scott, foundering partner of Pure Flix Entertainment told CP.

“With a massive 40% membership increase during this time, we continue to draw more and more people closer to God and to each other by offering content that strengthens the faith and values of you and your family. We have also given away tens of thousands of memberships to individuals and families in need,” he added. 

A new promotion is inviting others to give a $40 donation and Pure Flix will provide an individual or family with a year’s membership to Pure Flix.

VidAngel, an entertainment platform and original content studio that was created to help families filter out language, nudity and violence in movies and TV shows, has also offered free access to their entire lineup during the shutdown and has seen a spike in subscriptions. The company's daily growth rate increased by 50 times.

The company first made national news when Walt Disney Company, Lucasfilms, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros all filed a lawsuit against it, claiming the video streaming service was infringing on their copyrighted material. However, they have since bounced back and are now using modern streaming platforms such as iOS, Android, and ROKU to enable families to stream and filter shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO through VidAngel's services.

VidAngel CEO Neal Harmon told CP that they knew they had to offer people something to help lift their spirits during this worldwide pandemic and others are now following suit.

“As soon as we realized that families were going to be stuck at home, we knew we had to act quickly to try to help. I had no idea there would be such an overwhelming response, nor did we ever anticipate that we were at the leading edge of what has become a national movement in which businesses all over the country have jumped in to offer free relief to Americans,” Harmon said. 

He added, “This has been and continues to be a deeply traumatic time for our country, we’re thrilled to have been put in a position to offer hope and help. With such a barrage of frightening information every day, families have had the chance to get together to watch ‘The Chosen’ and be inspired, or watch ‘Dry Bar Comedy’ and laugh.”

The company is gearing up to use VidAngel to help parents and families “enhance their experience at home,” and Harmon said they will be announcing that new initiative soon. During this lockdown, VidAngel also announced that its series, “The Chosen” the first-ever multi-series TV show about the life of Jesus, made IMDb’s top list of rated shows. 

Last month, streaming service RightNow Media also began offering a free trial which features hundreds of hours of Christian teaching and Bible-focused content for kids and because of it thousands have signed up for their streaming service. 

“In times like these, when the church is forced to operate in new ways, we want to be there to help,” Brian Mosley, president of RightNow Media, told in a recent interview.

Over 10,000 new trial subscribers joined in the past month. The ministry specifically markets its streaming service to churches and the church leaders then offer their congregants free access.

The family-friendly streaming platform 24 Flix, which is a more recent addition to the faith-based streaming world, has likewise experienced a rise in viewership. 

24 Flix offers a variety of films and TV shows at what they say is a much lower price than other streaming services. Since the national lockdown, they’ve seen a 38% increase in their overall viewing.

“During these unprecedented times, people are looking for positive and uplifting content and I'm glad we're able to provide exactly that on 24 Flix,” Marty Jean-Louis, head of 24 Flix. told CP on Monday. 

Some of their popular titles include “Joseph the Beloved,” “Painted Horses” and “God With Us.”

“We have seen an overwhelming increase in viewing during the day, 62% increase compared to February. Additionally, we have seen our users watch more movies, TV shows and classic shows,” he added.

And while it’s not a streaming service, Lord Edmiston's Christian Vision ministry has also seen a 400% increase in the use of video resources on its website. 

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