Growing up on an Idaho farm, Neal Harmon recalls how film sparked imagination in him and his three brothers. “I remember watching Swiss Family Robinson, then building treehouses in the trees behind our house,” he said. “After watching Star Wars, we’d jump in the canals during a big snowstorm and pretend the Empire was coming to attack. Entertainment shaped the way we saw the world.”
Now, Harmon and his brothers are the cofounders of Provo, Utah-based VidAngel, one of the many faith-based streaming video-on-demand companies that have multiplied in the entertainment industry.
In 2018, US audiences spent more money on digital in-home entertainment than at movie theaters for the first time, and dollars have only shifted more since most movie theaters closed this spring during the COVID-19 crisis. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and other billion-dollar heavyweights are duking it out, while two more major platforms from HBO and NBCUniversal launched in early 2020.
Christian parents say the competing content requires tech-savvy wisdom to navigate. “You have to be more diligent today as a parent,” said Julie Foust, a part-time teacher and mother of four in Albany, Illinois. “We have to be aware that the world we live in has so much evil in it, even as we want to have fun watching shows with our kids.”
Currently, more than 140 separate services offer movie and TV streaming—including a few players that have made a name reaching Christian families during the past decade: Pure Flix, VidAngel, Christian Cinema, and Minno, among others.
“The mainstream streamers all offer perfectly good family content, but mixed in with things that are decidedly for adults only,” said ...1
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Can Christian Streaming Services Last Alongside Netflix and Disney+?
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