Turner Classic Movies, in collaboration with the Criterion Collection, is planning a massive classic movie streaming service to launch in the fall. The subscription-video service, FilmStruck, will feature a rotating selection of more than 1,000 art-house and indie titles. The movie streaming service will be advertising free and will be available on several devices. Pricing for the service has yet to be determined.
FilmStruck will be the new exclusive streaming home for the Criterion Collection, previously exclusive to Hulu. Criterion ending their relationship with Hulu and Hulu Plus means that Hulu subscribers will be losing over 500 films currently available exclusively through Criterion. FilmStruck will also include the Criterion Channel, a new premium service programmed and curated by the Criterion team.
The FilmStruck library will contain films from indie studios including Janus Films, Flicker Alley, Icarus, Kino, Milestone and Zeitgeist. Criterion, and its parent company, Janus Films, hold the US rights to some of the most important films in cinematic history. The Janus Film library include works by filmmakers such as Michelangelo Antonioni, Sergei Eisenstein, Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini, Akira Kurosawa, François Truffaut, and Yasujiro Ozu.
It will also have movies from Warner Bros. and other major studios. Turner holds the rights to one of the largest libraries of pre-1986 films available, including MGM’s entire back catalogue, the whole RKO catalogue, Warner Brother’s entire pre-1950s catalogue, and United Artists’ catalogue. Turner says that the new streaming service will be similar to TCM’s cable programming. Many of the film selections for the service are unavailable on DVD or elsewhere.
Some of the movies selected for inclusion in the service are “Seven Samurai,” the Beatle’s “A Hard Day’s Night,” “A Room With A View,” “Blood Simple,” “My Life As A Dog,” the original “Mad Max,” “Breaker Morant” and “The Player.” Bonus content and commentary will also be available for various films. Turner CEO John Martin said of FilmStruck, “It’s tailor-made for the diehard movie enthusiast who craves a deep, intimate experience with independent, foreign and arthouse films.”
The FilmStruck service will join the widening pool of Internet video subscription services available to consumers without a cable-TV subscription. FilmStruck will be powered by iStreamPlanet, a provider of streaming and cloud-based video and technology services. Turner acquired a majority stake in iStreamPlanet last August.