The Story of RedeemTV
Here it is, the Story of RedeemTV...
As is true with every story, the hardest part is knowing how far back in history do you go to tell the story. Do you go back 50 years to the first major faith-based film (Cross and Switchblade), which your founder produced and whose distribution started the company? Do you start with your initial failed attempt to start RedeemTV in 2015? Do you dig deep into the spreadsheets you created to show trends and a need for a new, different approach to streaming platforms? What about the dozens of meetings with friends brainstorming what could be possible? All of those could be helpful places to start the story, but for me, RedeemTV began with a prayer.
“Lord, you have told us that you love to give wisdom to those who ask you in faith (James 1:5-6). Lord, we are asking for wisdom knowing that you will provide it. We see the need. We have an idea, but we need your wisdom to know if this could really work.” I have heard our company president, Bill Curtis, pray this prayer many times and this time the gravity of the prayer stuck with me. I remember leaving his office that day struck with the truth that this step of faith could make or break the future of our ministry.
“Lord, you have told us that you love to give wisdom to those who ask you in faith (James 1:5-6). Lord, we are asking for wisdom knowing that you will provide it. We see the need. We have an idea, but we need your wisdom to know if this could really work.”
Bill Curtis, President of Christian History Institute
We had so many questions. “Will people donate to a ministry in order to continue to get that which they are already getting for free”? “Will people understand the ministry and vision of this streaming platform”? “Will anyone watch”? “Will this decision cause such a watered down market that we will have to lay off staff”?
We continued to pray. We sought advice from industry friends, business mentors, pastors, and the rest of the staff. They all acknowledged the risk but loved the idea. On December 31, 2019, we signed the agreement with our video streaming platform provider and RedeemTV was launched.
January to March of 2020 was a blur. I did my best to clear my calendar so I could focus on organizing content, building our platform, creating a brand, networking with other industry friends, and coordinating all our efforts for a big launch in June of 2020.
Then Covid-19 came. I was 500 miles away from our offices, preaching at a Conference when I was first informed that Covid-19 would be closing our offices (along with the rest of the USA) and we should “shelter at home”. As I was driving home, I began thinking about the isolation, depression, and boredom that would come to so many homes, including mine, due to this Pandemic and ensuing safety measures. That is when God gave me the thought of releasing RedeemTV as a beta-version with basic functionality to help give families hope in the midst of what we thought would be a “6 week lockdown” to “Flatten the Curve”. God blessed our efforts, faith, and prayers and by the time we were ready to leave the beta-version on June 16, 2020, we had as many subscribers as we had hoped we would have in a year. We felt the thrill of opportunity as we left behind the beta-version and entered into RedeemTV's first official year.
God continues to bless RedeemTV as we now have nearly 130,000 subscribers, streaming in nearly 200 countries, over 2,000 videos on the service (with hundreds, maybe even thousands, more on the way), a growing dedicated donor base, and a God that continues to answer our prayers for wisdom in this growing, ever-changing, and much needed ministry.
The future for RedeemTV is to continue to spread hope as we stream more goodness to more people in more places. Keep an eye open for “Vindication: Season 2” and our brand new original series “The Watchers”, a supernatural good vs evil battle for the truth. We are also excited to announce our soon new “Smart TV” apps to be released in the Fall of 2021, allowing more families to watch RedeemTV together in their family room. RedeemTV “Smart TV apps”, The Torchlighters, The Watchers, Vindication, and all our other content is possible because our subscribers are headed the call to become a part of making this happen by donating to RedeemTV. Please consider becoming a donor so we can continue to “Stream Goodness” for His Kingdom.
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Written by Matt, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.