The year of 2020 is when streaming services took over and it looks like their epic reign will continue throughout 2021.
UMC — the Black-focused streaming service created by BET founder Robert L. Johnson — announced plans to launch a rebrand under the name “ALLBLK” in January 2021 to ramp up on Black TV and film content.
This first quarter launch will find the streaming service debuting a premium look and feel for ALLBLK as it’s scheduled to produce a robust slate of original series next year – including the previously announced multi-cam comedy, “Millennials”; MC Lyte sitcom, “Partners In Rhyme”; legal drama,”Lace”; haircare makeover series, “My Mane Problem”; and the Datari Turner/eOne reality series, “Notorious Queens.”
UMC was initially created as a first-to-market subscription streaming service focused primarily on targeting Black audiences, with dedicated content for and by Black people.
“UMC began as a distribution model for Black creatives to directly reach the then largely underserved African American audience without the restrictions of legacy content development and traditional broadcast models,” Johnson said in a statement. “As technology advances and programming demands from our community evolve, the rebranded ALLBLK will be well positioned to breakout as the preeminent streaming destination for viewers seeking Black entertainment.”
After launching in November 2014 under Johnson’s RLJ Entertainment entity, UMC then joined AMC Networks following its acquisition of RLJ Entertainment in November 2018.
According to a press release, the fast-growing streaming platform has seen exponential triple-digit growth as a result of its strategic programming initiatives spearheaded by UMC/WE TV general manager Brett Dismuke.
“Since I first came on board in January 2019, the service has seen significant growth that depicted the need to craft a new brand identity aligned with how expansive our content slate and viewership has become,” Dismuke shared in a statement. “While we’re revamping our brand, what remains constant is our commitment to providing a home for Black creatives in front of and behind the camera to find opportunity and tell captivating stories. As we enter a new era of diversity and reflection in the entertainment industry, we’re excited for audiences to experience what will soon be ALLBLK.”
In a prepared press statement, AMC Networks SVOD President Miguel Penella said, “As our SVOD services continue to develop loyal subscription bases, establishing strong brands that cater to the targeted interests of our viewership is highly imperative. UMC’s rebranding as ALLBLK speaks to the need for curated entertainment experiences immersed in authenticity and targeted to the viewing interest of Black Americans, specifically the Black female audience.”
ALLBLK will replace UMC references across all apps, channels, and platforms in the U.S. during the first full week of January, a press release shares, including across iOS, Android, and Amazon Prime Video Channels; Apple TV and Apple TV Channels; Roku and Roku Channels; Amazon Fire TV, YouTube TV, Cox, DISH, Sling TV, Charter and more.