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Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc. (CSSE) went public last week. So, what can we expect from them going forward? Growth, according to Chairman and CEO William Rouhana. They will continue expansion in existing business segments and move into new business segments as well. But this story is about more than just business. It’s about passion.
I spoke with Rouhana, about the plans going forward for CSS Entertainment. The company is targeting $20 million in revenue and EBITDA of $10 million for 2017. In 2018 that expands to $36 million in revenue and $18 million in EBITDA. So, where is that growth coming from?
With their IPO, Rouhana says they now have the financing they need for expansion. They are already expanding the brand and offerings in recent years. Now, after going public, they intend to turn the dial up. They intend to ramp up production in other areas like their television programming. In fact, they have already begun production on three new series and new online content.
I have followed Rouhana for the last couple decades and have always been impressed. He helped companies grow and become important in their segment. They became attractive and were eventually acquired.
So, will Chicken Soup for the Soul be acquired? While no one knows what the future holds, I don’t think that’s what Rouhana has in mind with CSS Entertainment. I think he is very interested in taking this well-known and loved brand and growing it. Transforming it. Expanding it.
When talking with Rouhana in recent years, I sense a passion about this brand. There is a love affair of sorts between Rouhana and Chicken Soup for the Soul. He loves this company and has for a long time. He has plans to transform it, and to grow it and that is very exciting. In fact, he has been transforming it in recent years, and after the IPO I see this pace only increasing.
CSS Entertainment has been transforming with television, retail products and more. And it is in the very early stages of what may become a solid growth company if Rouhana’s plans continue on track.
CSS Entertainment, Inc. Growth Plans
There are plans to ramp up production of television programming and video. They have already begun production on three new series which are said to air on major broadcast and cable networks. These series will be distributed through CSS Entertainment online distribution channels including Aplus.com and its online network.
Each of these three series will continue the current strategy of having a sponsor to fund it prior to production. The company will follow this strategy in coming months with other series as well.
In addition to this original content, they intend to pursue acquisitions of third-party video content libraries consistent with the Chicken Soup for the Soul brand. Rouhana also says, going public empowers them to make strategic acquisitions. That will be a new and potentially very interesting slice of their pie.
So, looking backwards, Chicken Soup for the Soul has built a very strong brand in the inspirational book business. In recent years, Rouhana after acquiring the company has expanded the brand and company into new areas like television.
Going, forward, CSS Entertainment, Inc. intends to continue to transform and to grow. And by going public, that intention will only intensify and speed up. This is a new public company with a brand we all love and with a potential solid growth path going forward. This will be a very interesting story to follow in coming years.
Jeff Kagan is an Equities.com columnist. Kagan is a Wireless Analyst, Telecom Analyst, Industry Analyst, speaker and consultant. He follows wireless, wire line, telecom, Internet, cable TV, IPTV, Cloud, Mobile Pay, FinTech and communications technology. Email him at [email protected]. His web site is www.jeffKAGAN.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeffkagan.