After his powerful speech at Sunday night’s BET Awards show (June 23), Tyler Perry and Viacom’s BET Networks have announced the launch of a new streaming service.
According to Variety, BET Plus will include original series, Perry’s own personal projects, as well as the network and Viacom’s content portfolio, from film to television. BET Plus is scheduled to arrive this coming fall, however, the monthly fee has yet to be disclosed. The new streaming platform is one of many VOD subscriptions dropping in the next year or so, and BET Plus is the first step in providing more platforms for communities of color.
BET’s President Scott Mills echoed this same sentiment in a statement. “African Americans are the leading consumers of streaming services, with higher SVOD (Subscription Video On Demand) adoption rates than other consumers, which is why we’re so excited to launch a premium product for this underserved audience,” Mills shared.
“BET Plus is a natural extension of BET’s linear network, which has been the leading home of black culture for decades. Tyler Perry is perfect for BET Plus,” he continued. “The combination of new, original shows and his giant library of popular movies, series, and stage plays that Tyler brings to our joint venture creates an amazing product his large and passionate fan base.”
Perry sees the collaboration between the two not only as a way to cater to and uplift the black audience but also a means to further develop his capabilities as a filmmaker.
“In our industry, the way people consume content is constantly evolving,” Perry started. “I’ve paid attention to my audience and what works for them and, for that reason, I’m very excited not only about the idea of partnering with BET to create new and exciting content, but also about the idea of giving people a personalized experience through the ability to curate the content they love to consume.”
The Madea creator divulged even more in his statement. “On a personal level, this will also be the first time I’ll be working in areas like unscripted and variety television, which will afford me the opportunity to work in fresh, creative ways with new voices and to discover new talent.”
Perry was the subject of a standing ovation after his speech at the awards showcase. His acceptance speech for the Ultimate Icon Award spoke volumes about his character and his ambitious spirit as he shared how he created his own table, rather than fight for a seat at one in Hollywood.
“While everybody else is fighting for a seat at the table, talking about ‘#OscarsSoWhite, #OscarsSoWhite,’ I said, ‘Y’all go ahead and do that. While you’re fighting for a seat at the table, I’ll be down in Atlanta building my own.'”