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In the midst of the streaming wars that has Disney+ grabbing the bulk of headlines, a faith-based firm founded by a former senior executive at Amazon is set to formally launch a subscription product on Monday that boasts the largest collection of library Veggie Tales episodes, along with other Christian fare aimed at families with children.
The company, dubbed Minno, says it “aims to be a one-stop solution for parents and kids,” thus it also consists of a parenting blog and publishing arm by way of a relationship with Hachette Nashville, publisher of the best-selling, The Laugh and Learn Bible for Kids.
Minno was co-founded by CEO Erick Goss, a former Amazon marketing executive who was instrumental in launching the giant new-media firm’s ebook and print-on-demand businesses, along with its Visa card and Super Saver Shipping program.
“Parents who care about their children’s faith are in a tough situation,” Goss told The Hollywood Reporter. “The leading technology and media companies are fueling a content culture that is devoid of God and the importance of faith.”
While others are kicking the tires on faith-based streaming services, Minno thus far seems to have little competition. Mark Burnett and wife Roma Downey, who run LightWorkers for MGM, are reportedly seeking $100 million from outside sources for a streaming service that will target Christians.
Also, VidAngel, known for being sued by major studios after it streamed mainstream films with the adult scenes cut out, is dipping its toes into the waters with The Chosen, an $11 million multi-season show available digitally on-demand that is about the life of Jesus Christ.
But Goss sees an opening as an early mover, given that as many as 100 million Americans say they attend church regularly and more than $4 billion in Christian products are sold annually in the U.S, according to multiple research firms.
“There’s tons of content out there, but almost nothing speaking to Christian parents,” said Goss. “When we talk to them, they feel compromised. With Minno, they don’t have to hover and be uber-vigilant.”
The company is backed by six angel investors from Silicon Valley and Nashville, Tennessee, where the company is headquartered, and it is in conversations with institutional investors in order to raise more money to create original content.
“We have pretty ambitious goals, but the reality is, if you’re a Christian creative who wants to create a show, there has not been an outlet,” says Goss.
Minno had been in beta with 20,000 subscribers in 40 countries, and most of its 2,500 episodes of content licenses involve global rights, Goss said.
The company’s board of directors includes Goss along with John Brandon, a 15-year veteran of Apple, and Cheryl Lim Tan, a vp at Tundra, a San Francisco startup company.
Minno officially launches Monday at $6.99 per month or $69.99 annually at GoMinno.com.
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