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New streaming platform Blkfam launches with Black-strong, family-friendly videos

The platform counts comedian Whoopi Goldberg among its financial backers.

The platform counts comedian Whoopi Goldberg among its financial backers.

"My Friend T" is one of several family-friendly shows available on the new streaming platform BLKFAM. (Courtesy photo)
“My Friend T” is one of several family-friendly shows available on the new streaming platform Blkfam. (Courtesy photo)

A new streaming service has debuted that offers free access to family-friendly, Black-strong television shows and movies.

The service, called Blkfam, markets itself as the first Black-owned, family-focused streaming platform, with its content available for free and supported through short advertising breaks.

At launch, Blkfam offers more than 1,000 hours of TV shows and movies, with titles like “My Friend T,” “Sprinkled with Sweetness,” “Faith McGrace: The Super Saint,” “Five Monkeys, “12th Street Disciples,” “The Last Astronaut” and “Wake Up Kid,” among others.

The service was founded by Larry Adams, a digital media executive, who called comedian Whoopi Goldberg to see if she would be interested in partnering on the project, according to Variety.

“The magic of working with Whoopi Goldberg is, she has a magic bag of ideas,” Adams said in an interview with the trade publication.

Goldberg said she was drawn to the idea because she has a 10-year-old great-granddaughter, and didn’t see “a lot of content out there created by people who look like her, for her.”

“I feel like we’re not always represented in the best possible way,” Goldberg said.

Blkfam aims to change that by offering a diverse and under-represented community access to family-friendly and inclusive shows and movies that are part educational, part inspirational.

“I’m excited to be involved with Blkfam from the ground floor,” Goldberg said in a statement. “I’m proud to be a part of something my great-grandkids can enjoy, and see characters who look like them onscreen, created by people who look like them, for them.”

The timing could not be better for Blkfam: According to Nielsen, Black Americans watch more than 80 hours of video content every week, and many are drawn to free, ad-supported streaming platforms for their video needs.

While streaming services like Fox Corporation’s Tubi and Amazon’s Freevee have drawn interest from Black television viewers, the content on those services aren’t always appropriate for children. By partnering with companies like Playwatch Kids and Candle Media’s ATTN, Blkfam aims to fill that void in the streaming marketplace by offering a platform that can appeal to the whole family, not just kids.

“Professionally deeply understanding the streaming landscape, I knew there was a gap in co-viewing platforms,” Adams told the website TechCrunch. “But as a Black parent, when my kids and I would sit down to watch a movie or share a show, the options for families to watch together were mixed together with adult-oriented content. The content that was targeted to Black audiences was not necessarily created from the point of view of wholesome family co-viewing.”

Adams said families are more likely to watch television together when those options are available, and only splinter off into app silos when “there are limited options.”

Blkfam is rolling out across devices now, and will be available on Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV (Google TV), Roku and smart TVs made by Samsung, LG and Vizio. Apps for Apple and Android-powered phones and tablets are also in the works.

Movies and TV shows can also be streamed via the Blkfam website.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 10 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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