Turner Broadcasting is partnering with Criterion Collection to launch an online subscription video service that streams art-house films, the companies said Tuesday.
The service, FilmStruck, will be managed by Turner’s Turner Classic Movies channel, and will include content from Criterion, which already licenses films to rival video service Hulu.
The move makes Turner the latest to join a parade of traditional programmers launching direct-to-consumer digital services. Both traditional TV and film companies and digital upstarts are rushing to establish online membership models that fit niches of viewers, as consumers’ progressively migrate away from live, linear TV.
Companies like CBS and Time Warner’s HBO have unfurled online direct subscription options for programming, while others like NBCUniversal have gone niche, with a $3.99-a-month comedy service Seeso.
Meanwhile, online natives have unfurled the same model to widen into revenue streams besides just advertising. YouTube launched a subscription tier Red in October, and Hulu veteran Jason Kilar rolled out new service Vessel a year ago.
FilmStruck’s library will include movies like “Seven Samurai,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” “A Room With A View,” “Blood Simple,” “My Life As A Dog,” “Mad Max,” “Breaker Morant” and “The Player.”
Turner said the service will include films from indie studios like Janus Films, Flicker Alley, Icarus, Kino, Milestone and Zeitgeist, as well as movies from Hollywood’s major movie studios, including Warner Bros.
“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,” said John Martin, chairman and CEO of Turner, in a statement. “FilmStruck is…tailor-made for the diehard movie enthusiast who craves a deep, intimate experience with independent, foreign, and art house 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.”
Peter Becker, president of the Criterion Collection, said that his company would work with TCM’s programming team to “present a broad, constantly changing cross-section of Criterion titles on FilmStruck, calling it “the most comprehensive Criterion experience ever available anywhere.”
He said FilmStruck will have a stream of exclusive original content and archival discoveries, as well as continual access to more than 1,000 films from the Janus Films library.
The companies didn’t disclose pricing details, but the Wall Street Journal reported earlier that it was expected to be in the under $10 a month.