WarnerMedia Pulls Plug On FilmStruck
FilmStruck, the movie streaming service for art house, foreign and classic films launched by Turner Classic Movies unit of Warner Digital Entertainment in 2016, is halting operations Nov. 29th for being too niche oriented, its parent WarnerMedia explained last week.
The Subscription Video on Demand (SVoD) service will cease following a decision that was reportedly reached prior to completion of AT&T’s deal to purchase Time Warner, but ultimately executed under the new WarnerMedia unit.
Variety reported Friday that the decision conforms with a WarnerMedia “blueprint to shift resources” away from FilmStruck’s base of hardcore cinephiles toward more mass-market entertainment services.
The company said in a tweet that any subscribers due a refund should visit http://FilmStruck.com/ for further information.
The SVoD service, which was developed and managed by the Turner unit of Warner Bros. Digital Entertainment in collaboration with the Criterion Collection (succeeding Hulu), was noted for having a large library of popular, cult and contemporary classic films including those from indie and foreign distribution. It also had exclusive access to the Criterion catalog.
“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,” a statement announcing the closure reads.
The Criterion Collection later released its own statement on the move, saying “Like many of you, we are disappointed by this decision.”
“When we launched the Criterion Channel in 2016, we had two goals: to ensure that our entire streaming library remained available, and to address our audience in our own voice,” it continued.
Executives with the Criterion Channel are working on alternate ways to make the digital library available to stream as soon as possible, the statement said.
FilmStruck initially launched giving viewers access to movies over browsers before making an app available to various streaming devices including Roku and Apple TV.
By Greg Tarr
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