Answers in Genesis, the group behind the Ark Encounter and the Creation Museum, launched a video streaming service to provide those waiting out the coronavirus lockdown with an on-demand media, family-friendly option.
Answers.tv features videos that tackle such topics as social issues, science, and Christian doctrine, and questions like why God allows disease and death.
“Using the help of a supporter who is at the cutting edge of video streaming, we were able to launch earlier than expected and less expensively than originally anticipated," said Ken Ham, CEO of AiG. "In fact, the creation of the platform and the loading of 1,000 videos were done in a remarkable four weeks, during the coronavirus shutdown itself.”
The videos, which includes documentaries, were produced by a “large team of speakers that include scientists, theologians, and workshop leaders,” according to the group.
Ham noted that the timing of the release of Answers.tv enables the group “to reach many more people who are sheltered in place during the coronavirus.”
“Of course, when things return to normal, people will still be seeking answers to life’s perplexing questions and Answers.tv will be there for them,” he said. “So even as our attractions are temporarily closed, we can continue to present biblical truths and then into the future when the virus is behind us.”
Eventually, Answers.tv — which costs a little over $3 per month — will feature special livestreaming events, including concerts, lectures, wildlife programs, and current affairs programming. The “Answers News” show will be a regular feature that addresses current events from a biblical perspective.
According to Ham, the streaming service provides a safe, family-friendly alternative to platforms like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon’s Prime Video, which he said are “often being used to push violence and social agendas that run contrary to Scripture.”
“We also have seen increasing censorship of Christian videos and teaching by social media giants. It was time for us to act,” he said.
The shelter-in-place orders across America, combined with the closure of movie theaters across the country, have accelerated the popularity of streaming services.
A March 27-29 Morning Consult/The Hollywood Reporter survey found that 34 percent of adults said they have subscribed to a streaming service since Jan. 1, up from 29 percent in a March 5-7 poll. Among those respondents, 38 percent said the coronavirus pandemic was a major or minor reason they subscribed.
With Answers.tv, AiG joins the ranks of other faith-focused streaming services, such as VidAngel, PureFlix, The Dove Channel, Christian Cinema, Crossflix, Up Faith & Family, and others.
In March, VidAngel made its platform free for several weeks to ensure access to family-friendly entertainment — including the platform’s popular original series “The Chosen" — amid the pandemic.
Neal Harmon, CEO of VidAngel, told The Christian Post that people of faith need to have a voice and a platform — not necessarily to preach, but where they can enjoy entertainment without worrying about being exposed to negative or damaging content.
“People who value faith and values need to be able to enjoy quality entertainment,” he said. “And they should be able to enjoy it on a scale that can compete with big studios because big studios know how to make things beautiful and compelling, but they don’t represent the viewpoints of many Americans.”