Sony buys Christian streaming service Pure Flix to further reach faith audience

The main lobby of Pure Flix headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The main lobby of Pure Flix headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona. | (Courtesy of Pure Flix/Kristy Resch)

Entertainment giant Sony Pictures announced that it’s buying the popular Christian streaming service Pure Flix. 

According to The Los Angeles Times, Sony announced on Thursday that it is buying the streaming service, which was launched in 2015, in order to expand its reach with Christian audiences.

The faith-based streaming service will be owned by Sony’s subsidiary company, Affirm Entertainment, but the Arizona-based production company Pure Flix Entertainment, which launched the streaming platform, will not be part of Sony’s purchase.

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“We are thrilled with the creative opportunities and the ability to reach a broader audience through this agreement with AFFIRM Entertainment," Pure Flix CEO Michael Scott, who will join Affirm and continue to oversee the streaming service, said in a statement. "We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to our longtime Pure Flix supporters as we continue to bring them inspirational and high-quality content in the years ahead." 

'God's Not Dead' movie poster, set for release in March 2014.
"God's Not Dead" movie poster, set for release in March 2014. | (Photo: God's Not Dead Movie Facebook Photos)

Pure Flix was formed by the makers of the “God’s Not Dead” film franchise. The first installment of “God’s Not Dead” grossed $65 million at the global box office and the company followed that success with additional films such as “The Case for Christ,” and the pro-life film “Unplanned.” 

Sony's Affirm Films, which produces, markets and the distributes inspiring content, has produced such Christian blockbusters as “War Room,” “Heaven Is for Real” and “Miracles From Heaven."

Starring Jennifer Garner, "Miracles From Heaven" was made on a $13-million budget and generated nearly $74 million in global box office ticket sales. Just last year, the Kendrick Brothers film “Overcomer” grossed $38 million on a budget of $5 million.

“Pure Flix is a natural fit with our Affirm brand, which is known for its high quality, uplifting, inspirational content,” Keith Le Goy, Sony’s president of networks and distribution, said in a statement. “Pure Flix has done an amazing job building a robust community of engaged subscribers, and we look forward to continuing to grow and delight audiences with well-curated faith and family entertainment.”

Pure Flix co-founder and Chief Content Officer David A. R. White will also be joining Affirm as head of the service’s outreach and special projects. 

The Pure Flix streaming service has seen an uptick in subscriptions during the pandemic this year. Scott told CP in May that there was a 40% increase in membership since the shelter-at-home orders began in March.

Users pay $12.99 a month (or less for a yearly subscription) to watch faith-centered movies and TV Shows. It is unclear whether that will change after the purchase.   

The Sony deal is only one of several initiatives the company has done for content aimed at churchgoers. Executive Vice President Rich Peluso of Affirm Films launched a television arm last December.

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