For many film nerds, the chief reason to have a Hulu subscription is for the vast access to The Criterion Collection, one of maybe three companies that continues to make it worth spending hard-earned money on physical media. The packaging for most Criterion discs ranks with the best in the business, but the key to their reputation is the movies they pick, ranging from overlooked noirs to classic Hollywood features to strange arthouse fair, both foreign and domestic. The films they pick are simply unimpeachable and when they put out packages like the Apu Trilogy or Wim Wenders‘ long-unavailable Road Trilogy, they expand the reach of film knowledge incalculably.
Now, the company is going even further with FilmStruck, a streaming service that will partner them with Turner of Turner Classic Movies and HBO, which looks to debut in the Fall of 2016. According to the press release, the service will cater to the tastes of those who enjoy Criterion’s current slate of releases, and will also include films from major indie distributors like Icarus, Milestone, Kino, Zeitgeist, Janus, and Flicker Alley. Sadly, this means that Criterion’s home at Hulu will no longer be, but FilmStruck will allow Criterion to start its own curated channel, where rare gems and cult items can be found in good quality. The cost of the service hasn’t been figured out quite yet, but truthfully, if the service is in like with TCM and Criterion, it will be well worth the price.
Here’s what Turner CEO John Martin had to say about Film Struck via the press release:
“At Turner, we are dedicated to engaging fans wherever they are, and we’re investing aggressively in content, new capabilities and new businesses to achieve that goal…FilmStruck is a terrific example of our strategy to meet consumer demand for great content across all screens. It’s tailor-made for the diehard movie enthusiasts who craves a deep, intimate experience with independent, foreign, and arthouse films. And it takes advantage of TCM’s powerful curation capabilities, as well as its proven track record in building a long-term relationship with passionate film fans.”
And here’s what Criterion Collection CEO Peter Becker had to add:
“Criterion is teaming up with TCM to launch an arthouse film lovers’ dream streaming service…Working with TCM’s programming team, we’ll present a broad, constantly changing cross-section of Criterion titles on FilmStruck, a platform designed from the start to present films with the kind of robust supplemental features that Criterion is known for. The addition of the premium Criterion Channel will offer subscribers the most comprehensive Criterion experience ever available anywhere, including a steady stream of exclusive original content and archival discoveries, plus continual access to more than 1,000 films from the Janus Films library, many unavailable on disc or anywhere else. We’re very excited to be joining forces with TCM to make FilmStruck the streaming service serious movie fans have been waiting for.”