Sony Releases Crackle App for Apple Devices

The free application, for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch users, streams ad-supported films and TV series.

Sony Pictures said Monday it has released iPad, iPhone and iPod apps for its Crackle Web site, which offers hundreds of TV and movie titles for free viewing on-demand with ads.

Crackle’s content includes movies from Columbia Pictures, TriStar Pictures, Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics, all Sony-owned labels. The site competes with Hulu, owned in part by NBC Universal, Fox and Disney.

The movies and TV shows at Crackle are uncut, though they are interrupted for quick commercial breaks that cannot be fast-forwarded.

Some of the content the site was featuring prominently on its Web site Monday included the TV shows Seinfeld and Married … With Children and the movies 21, The Last Picture Show, Flatliners and The Da Vinci Code.

Crackle was founded as Grouper, a file-sharing site, about seven years ago and went through a few business-model and technological changes before Sony purchased it in 2006 for $65 million.

Sony made sure Grouper played well on Sony computers and Internet-connected TV sets as well as on PlayStation devices, then rebranded its acquisition a year later as Crackle.