Fullscreen 'YouTube Red rival' to close in January

Grace Helbig Image copyright Getty Images

Online talent management firm Fullscreen is closing the subscription video platform it set up last year to rival YouTube’s premium tier.

The service promised to produce “higher quality” programmes featuring popular YouTube and social media stars.

Fullscreen said it had attracted “hundreds of thousands” of paying customers but wanted to focus its investment in areas with more “immediate impact”.

The service will close in January.

At its launch in April 2016, the service featured programmes by British comedians Jack Howard and Dean Dobbs, and US vlogger Shane Dawson.

There was also a catalogue of old television programmes such as Dawson’s Creek.

Image copyright Fullscreen

The service did regularly add new programmes to its offering but laid off some of its staff in September to “streamline operations”.

“When we set out to launch our own SVOD [subscription video on-demand] service, we knew it would be a huge challenge,” said Fullscreen founder George Strompolos in a blog post.

“We came to the conclusion that funding SVOD – a longer-term investment – was limiting our ability to invest in… divisions that have more established scale and immediate impact.”

Mr Dobbs said he hoped his comedy series Jack and Dean Of All Trades would “find a new home”.

YouTube offers its own subscription service in the US, YouTube Red, that features long-form programmes from popular videomakers. It has not revealed how many people pay for the service.

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