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BET founder announces launch of new video platform

Check out Urban Movie Channel — Robert Johnson’s new subscription streaming service

Robert L. Johnson, chairman of RLJ Entertainment and the founder of BET, has announced the launch of Urban Movie Channel (UMC), the first subscription video on demand service created for African-American and urban audiences in North America.

The iOS app is available for free download and offers a seven-day free trial. After the trial period, the monthly fee is $6.99. UMC service features films, documentaries, original series, standup comedy and other content.

“We are very excited about the launch of the UMC app as part of the iOS platform,” Johnson said in a press release. “The iOS app will give UMC the ability to reach millions of potential subscribers while also giving us a level playing field to compete with some of the top digital-streaming content brands. More importantly, UMC is enhancing its commitment to becoming available to African-American and urban households who want to access the compelling content we provide for their specific viewing interests, as well as to provide them with an alternative to the high-priced costs of a cable set-top box.”

UMC will include Gary Owen’s I Agree With Myself and performances from The Daily Show host Trevor Noah and comedian Kevin Hart, comedy films including #Lucky Number starring Method Man, dramas including Knucklehead starring Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe and Second Coming starring Golden Globe Award winner Idris Elba and Nadine Marshall. Documentaries in UMC’s lineup include Tim Reid Presents: The Legacy Documentary Series.

The UMC app is available on Roku, Amazon Prime, and through Amazon Fire TV and the Amazon Fire TV Stick. It will be available on Apple TV in early 2017.

UMC was created by Johnson and RLJE and originally launched in Nov 2014 and officially in Feb 2015.

Kelley Evans is a digital producer at Andscape. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic Southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.