Why the New Criterion Channel Streaming Service Won’t Be a ‘Netflix Killer’

“If we really do our job well, we think we can make something sustainable,” president Peter Becker says of indie film channel launch

When WarnerMedia shuttered the classic and foreign film streaming service FilmStruck four months ago, it acknowledged that while the streaming service had a “loyal fanbase, it remains largely a niche service.” The Criterion Collection was nearly half of FilmStruck’s full library in partnership with Turner Classic Movies. But while TCM’s library survives on TV and in WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service, The Criterion Collection was an unfortunate casualty.

But on Monday, The Criterion Collection relaunched as an independent, standalone service, The Criterion Channel — and the company is just fine with it being “niche.”

“As idealistic as it sounds, the business is if we really do our job well, we think we can make something sustainable,” Criterion President Peter Becker told TheWrap. “We don’t have to prove that we’re somehow going to be a Netflix killer or something like that in order to be sustainable to survive.”

Becker and Criterion were just as surprised as cinephiles were at FilmStruck’s closure. Becker decided that in its absence, connecting Criterion’s audience with the movies they love as quickly as possible was “absolutely crucial.” And Becker felt the…

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