By Sahil Patel
Ran Harnevo, AOL’s president of video, like many others in the digital video industry, envisions a future where online video companies sit alongside television networks on whatever the future version of a TV channel guide (apps) looks like.
That means AOL will eventually need to offer programming, or even curated programming experiences, that matches the running time of what’s available on linear networks. AOL is starting to play in that sandbox; the company commissioned its first long-form original series, “Connected,” earlier this month.
Today, AOL is announcing another deal to bring a lot more premium long-form content to the AOL On Network. AOL has inked a pact with Miramax to launch a new custom channel on AOL On, which will offer a selection of feature films produced by the studio.
A different sampling of Miramax films will be available on its channel every month. Among the films in the studio’s library: critical favorites like “Pulp Fiction,” “Chicago,” “Good Will Hunting,” and “The English Patient,” as well as commercial franchises like “Scream,” “Scary Movie,” and “Spy Kids.”
These films will be available for free, making AOL On one of the few online platforms to offer feature-length films without requiring viewers to subscribe or rent/buy.
The Miramax deal also serves as a preview for an upcoming “movies” experience on AOL On, which will allow viewers to watch feature films from multiple different studios. AOL is reportedly in talks with other studios to have access to their libraries.