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Criterion streaming service will rise from FilmStruck's ashes

19 Nov 2018 | Rasmus Larsen |

To the dismay of many users, WarnerMedia has decided to close FilmStruck. The companies have now announced that a new Criterion streaming service will take over from spring 2019.

Criterion Channel streaming service

After AT&T acquired TimeWarner and renamed it WarnerMedia, it also made the decision to shutter three stand-alone streaming services; FilmStruck, DramaFever, and Super Deluxe. This is part of a plan to launch a mainstream WarnerMedia streaming service in late 2019.

Following the decision to close FilmStruck, a service for independent, foreign and arthouse films, which disappointed many subscribers, some of Hollywood’s biggest directors, including Christopher Nolan, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and Guillermo del Toro, have asked WarnerMedia to save FilmStruck.

FilmStruck is still scheduled to close later this month but users may get some relief. Criterion and WarnerMedia have announced that a new ‘Criterion Channel’ stand-alone streaming service will launch in spring 2019.

- ”We are incredibly touched and encouraged by the flood of support we’ve been receiving since the announcement that FilmStruck will be shutting down on November 29, 2018. Our thanks go out to everyone who signed petitions, wrote letters and newspaper articles, and raised your voices to let the world know how much our mission and these movies matter to you,” Criterion said. “… we have good news for you. The Criterion Collection team is going to be carrying on with that mission, launching the Criterion Channel as a freestanding service in spring 2019. The Criterion Channel will be picking up where the old service left off.”

USA & Canada – more regions later

In a separate announcement, WarnerMedia said that the Criterion Collection library will also be available on its upcoming mainstream streaming service that is planned to launch in the fourth quarter of 2019.

- ”Additionally, the popular library of films will be part of WarnerMedia's recently announced direct-to-consumer platform that is planned to launch in the fourth quarter of 2019. Today's announcement ensures that fans will have access to these films from the Criterion Collection as well as films from WarnerMedia's deep and extensive library in what will be a rich and curated experience, which will further expand the audience footprint for these classic and acclaimed movies,” said WarnerMedia.

The companies did not announce technical details or platform availability.

The upcoming Criterion streaming service will launch in the US and Canada in spring 2019, and roll out in “additional territories over time”. In the US, it will cost $10 per month or $100 per year.

Criterion Channel streaming service

The Criterion Channel will be 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. We will continue with our guest programmer series, Adventures in Moviegoing. Our regular series like Art-House America, Split Screen, and Meet the Filmmakers, and our Ten Minutes or Less section will all live on, along with Tuesday’s Short + Feature and the Friday Night Double Feature, and of course our monthly fifteen-minute film school, Observations on Film Art.

The new service will be wholly owned and controlled by the Criterion Collection. We hope to be available in U.S. and Canada at launch, rolling out additional territories over time.
- Source: Criterion, WarnerMedia

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