The Criterion Collection is launching its own streaming service

When WarnerMedia announced last month that it would be shutting down its streaming service FilmStruck, the team at the Criterion Collection said it would be looking for a new digital home. Today, Criterion announced that it will be building that home itself — namely, launching a streaming service called The Criterion Channel. The company remains […]

When WarnerMedia announced last month that it would be shutting down its streaming service FilmStruck, the team at the Criterion Collection said it would be looking for a new digital home. Today, Criterion announced that it will be building that home itself — namely, launching a streaming service called The Criterion Channel.

The company remains best known for its beautifully restored and packaged DVDs and Blu-rays of classic art-house films, but it’s also moved into streaming, first by offering selections from its film library on Hulu, and then by creating its own channel within the larger FilmStruck service.

In a blog post, Criterion described The Criterion Channel as “picking up where the old service left off, programming director spotlights and actor retrospectives featuring major Hollywood and international classics and hard-to-find discoveries from around the world, complete with special features like commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, and original documentaries.”

The plan is to launch in the spring of 2019, at a price of $10.99 per month or $100 per year. However, Criterion is already looking for “charter subscribers” to sign up now — in exchange for supporting Criterion (and presumably offsetting the technical costs), those subscribers will get a discounted rate and other perks.

“We need everyone who was a FilmStruck subscriber or who’s been tweeting and signing petitions and writing letters to come out and to sign up for the new service,” the company says.

As for FilmStruck, a number of high-profile filmmakers have reportedly reached out to Warner Bros. executives in the hopes of saving the service. It sounds, however, like WarnerMedia already has plans for a more comprehensive service that will encompass aspects of FilmStruck — in fact, Criterion says its library will also be available on the WarnerMedia service when it launches.

R.I.P. FilmStruck, the best streaming service for classic films

Sad news for movie fans: FilmStruck, the streaming service developed by Turner Classic Movies, is shutting down. A message on the FilmStruck website says it’s no longer accepting new subscribers, with plans to shut down on November 29. Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter suggests that this was an expected move — now that it’s part of […]

Sad news for movie fans: FilmStruck, the streaming service developed by Turner Classic Movies, is shutting down.

A message on the FilmStruck website says it’s no longer accepting new subscribers, with plans to shut down on November 29. Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter suggests that this was an expected move — now that it’s part of AT&T, WarnerMedia (which owns Turner) is planning to a launch a comprehensive streaming service next year.

“While FilmStruck has a very loyal fanbase, it remains largely a niche service,” WarnerMedia said in a statement. “We plan to take key learnings from FilmStruck to help shape future business decisions in the direct-to-consumer space and redirect this investment back into our collective portfolios.”

In addition to classic Hollywood films, FilmStruck was also known for being the online home of the Criterion Collection, with its library of restored art-house and international films.

“Like many of you, we are disappointed by this decision,” Criterion says in a blog post. However, Criterion has worked with Hulu in the past, so it seems like could find another digital partner.

And indeed, the post says Criterion is “still committed to restoring and preserving the best of world cinema and bringing it to you in any medium we can,” and it continues, “We’ll be trying to find ways we can bring our library and original content back to the digital space as soon as possible.”

So it’s possible that much of this content will eventually find its way back online. Still, the transition from DVDs to digital, and now to subscription streaming, has made many classic film titles unavailable. FilmStruck was one of the few streaming services to fight that trend.

It will be missed.

R.I.P. FilmStruck, the best streaming service for classic films

Sad news for movie fans: FilmStruck, the streaming service developed by Turner Classic Movies, is shutting down. A message on the FilmStruck website says it’s no longer accepting new subscribers, with plans to shut down on November 29. Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter suggests that this was an expected move — now that it’s part of […]

Sad news for movie fans: FilmStruck, the streaming service developed by Turner Classic Movies, is shutting down.

A message on the FilmStruck website says it’s no longer accepting new subscribers, with plans to shut down on November 29. Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter suggests that this was an expected move — now that it’s part of AT&T, WarnerMedia (which owns Turner) is planning to a launch a comprehensive streaming service next year.

“While FilmStruck has a very loyal fanbase, it remains largely a niche service,” WarnerMedia said in a statement. “We plan to take key learnings from FilmStruck to help shape future business decisions in the direct-to-consumer space and redirect this investment back into our collective portfolios.”

In addition to classic Hollywood films, FilmStruck was also known for being the online home of the Criterion Collection, with its library of restored art-house and international films.

“Like many of you, we are disappointed by this decision,” Criterion says in a blog post. However, Criterion has worked with Hulu in the past, so it seems like could find another digital partner.

And indeed, the post says Criterion is “still committed to restoring and preserving the best of world cinema and bringing it to you in any medium we can,” and it continues, “We’ll be trying to find ways we can bring our library and original content back to the digital space as soon as possible.”

So it’s possible that much of this content will eventually find its way back online. Still, the transition from DVDs to digital, and now to subscription streaming, has made many classic film titles unavailable. FilmStruck was one of the few streaming services to fight that trend.

It will be missed.