The History of Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory has been around for 14 years. 14 years! That’s quite an achievement and one we’re very proud to celebrate.

When we first founded Shout!, we were fairly fresh off our Rhino days, a company my brother Richard founded in the 1970s. We had an amazing run at Rhino: 25 years for Richard, 15 years for me and about the same for our partner, Bob Emmer.

In 2003, Richard decided to put together a new label. He got Bob involved, and then brought me in. The optimist that he is, he thought it was a great time to launch a new entrepreneurial, independent audio and video company. It turned out that our timing wasn't so good in the music business, but the DVD business was on the rise. We jumped on the opportunity, while also keeping one hand in the music biz.

We were fortunate to maintain many great relationships from our Rhino days, which lead to a number of successful music-oriented audio and video releases. But then 2004 came, and with it, our initial foray into the genre that paved our way: TV on DVD.

We released the amazing TV show, Freaks And Geeks, packed with an absurd amount of bonus content and commentaries. We did the same with the infamous Canadian sketch comedy show, SCTV. Both of these legendary shows had not made it to video or DVD because of complex music rights issues through which we were able to navigate, thanks to our music business background.

Through the years, we’ve been able to add such extraordinary complete series sets to our catalog like WKRP In Cincinnati, My So-Called Life, Pee-wee’s Playhouse, All In The Family, Barney Miller, The Bob Newhart Show, Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, The Jeffersons, The Many Loves Of Dobie Gillis, and Route 66 (which we own outright). We’ve also served the hardcore fans of shows like the original Transformers, Jem And The Holograms, G.I. Joe and Power Rangers with limited-edition, specialty packaging, complete-series sets. We’ve found and released treasures like Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella [50th Anniversary Edition], starring Lesley Ann Warren and Stuart Damon. We’ve delved into comedic genius with deluxe box sets celebrating Mel Brooks, Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, Ernie Kovacs and Mystery Science Theater 3000. Releases like these are why we’re in this business. These are sets we want to own ourselves!

On the music side, we have been fortunate to put our stamp on some of the very best the arts have to offer. We worked with rock icons like Los Lobos, released the definitive visual anthology of the Grateful Dead, curated box set compilations of folk heroes like Richard Thompson and Loudon Wainwright, celebrated Sinatra with an extensive collection of television and concert performances, and made available long lost historical treasures like The T.A.M.I. Show and The Decline Of Western Civilization.

As our reputation for carefully curated releases flourished, so did our opportunities. In the past several years, we’ve nurtured successful partnerships with such amazing companies as Hasbro Studios (My Little Pony, Transformers), Marvel Animation (Marvel Knights), Saban (Power Rangers), Nickelodeon (Hey Arnold, Rocko’s Modern Life), ZAG (Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir), plus launched a line of horror films under the sub-label, Scream Factory (The Thing, Halloween, Nightbreed, They Live). In 2016 we renewed our partnership with Major League Baseball to release the 2016 World Series Collection: Chicago Cubs.

Our eclectic film catalog has also continued to grow, and run the gamut from mainstream to niche. We released a box set honoring Werner Herzog, as well one featuring the films of Bruce Lee. We put out the Mad Max [Collector’s Edition] starring Mel Gibson, a line of Roger Corman’s cult classics, and new films like The Babadook, Maya The Bee and Jack and The Cuckoo Clock Heart. We’ve also released pop culture classics like Sophie’s Choice and Midnight Run, plus fun popcorn flicks like Buckaroo Bonzai and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Building on the success of these releases, Shout! Factory has grown into a tremendous multi-platform media company. We have begun to release new animated features such as the exquisite Long Way North and The Boxcar Children: Surprise Island, as well as the epic fantasy Beauty And The Beast. We’ve announced a distribution deal to bring the critically acclaimed Dick Cavett Show back to television. We have released our own original horror film, Fender Bender, and after purchasing the Mystery Science Theater 3000 IP from Best Brains, we entered into an agreement with creator Joel Hodgson to produce new episodes of MST3K which are headed to Netflix this year. We’re also one of the first studios to be releasing films in the 4K Ultra HD™ format, with a slate of new family-friendly movie releases shot in IMAX® technology, including Journey To Space (narrated by Sir Patrick Stewart), Humpback Whales (narrated by Ewan McGregor), and Wonders Of The Arctic (narrated by Victor Garber).

Basically, we’re dedicated to bringing you the best of pop culture, both classic and new. Please let us know what you think. We want to keep doing this for as long as possible. Your feedback helps us know more about what’s working and what’s not.

Garson Foos