Legendary Is Shutting Down Alpha Streaming Service From Nerdist, Geek & Sundry

Streaming service Alpha is shutting down, a little over two years after Legendary Digital Networks launched the subscription bundle aimed at sci-fi, gaming and fantasy fans that featured original programming from the company’s Nerdist and Geek & Sundry teams.

In a message to subscribers Friday, Legendary said Alpha will be shuttered effective March 31, 2019, and that it discontinued new signups on March 1. Launched in November 2016, Alpha was priced at $4.99 per month or $49.99 annually.

With the shutdown, Legendary said the library of Alpha content will be available on Amazon-owned Twitch “effective immediately.” Some shows are already streaming on Geek & Sundry’s Twitch channel, and Legendary said episodes that have been live-streamed will remain available on-demand to subscribers.

“All of us at Nerdist and Geek & Sundry are so thankful to you for being a part of this amazing community,” the Alpha team said in the subscriber notice. “We’ve laughed. We’ve cried. We’ve GIFed. And we’ve cherished the friendships we’ve made.”

News of the service’s closure was first reported by TechCrunch. The move comes after AT&T’s Otter Media earlier this year shut down Machinima, a forerunner in the fandom space, although some of Machinima’s titles have been resurrected at Rooster Teeth (also part of Otter).

Shows on Alpha include “Because Science” hosted by Nerdist’s Kyle Hill, Dungeons & Dragons gameplay series “Critical Role,” tabletop games series “How to Play” and “Game the Game” with Geek & Sundry’s Becca Scott, “Talkin’ Toons” with voice actor Rob Paulson, role-playing adventure series “We’re Alive: Frontier,” “Alpha Book Club,” fandom-history show “Lore Masters,” talk show “Fangirling,” “Nerdist News: WTFriday,” “Ask Your Black Geek Friend” and comedy-shorts series “Nerdist Presents.”

The service also experimented with interactive features including chat and polling, as well as live programming including “Orbital Redux,” a sci-fi series starring Yuri Lowenthal performed and streamed live last fall. Other scripted series have included Ashley Clements’ “Sona” eight-part space drama.

The company had not disclosed how many subscribers Alpha had signed up. Legendary claimed that since Alpha’s launch, users have cumulatively watched over 640 million minutes of content; that averages out to around 400,000 hours per month.

Legendary said that if Alpha members have remaining months on an annual-subscription plan after March 31, 2019, it will refund any prepaid amounts on a prorated basis.