Perhaps thanks in part to the outpouring of grief at the news that Turner streaming service FilmStruck is shutting down, Criterion Channel is planning its own streaming service.
The Criterion Channel is planning a Spring 2019 launch and will be priced at $10.99 per month or $100 per year after a 30-day free trial. Right now, the service is allowing user to become charter subscribers and lock in a reduced rate of $9.99 per month or $89.99 a year.
Criterion said its streaming service will continue features from its FilmStruck channel including director spotlights and actor retrospectives with special features like commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, and original documentaries. It will also still have its guest programmer series, “Adventures in Moviegoing” and regular series like “Art-House America,” “Split Screen” and “Meet the Filmmakers.” The company said its Ten Minutes or Less section will live on, along with Tuesday’s Short + Feature and the Friday Night Double Feature, along with its monthly fifteen-minute film school, Observations on Film Art.
Criterion also said that its film library will be part of WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer streaming service planned for late 2019.
Interestingly, Criterion also issued a plea for help from subscribers in getting its fledging SVOD off the ground.
“We will be starting from scratch, with no subscribers, so we will need all the help we can get,” wrote Criterion on its website. “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. We can’t do it without you!”
The announcement of a standalone Criterion Channel comes after last month Turner and Warner Bros. Digital Networks made the decision to shut down FilmStruck, a curated film streaming service launched in 2016.
“While FilmStruck has a very loyal fanbase, it remains largely a niche service. 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,” Turner said.
FilmStruck is shutting down on Nov. 29.