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Criterion Collection announces new streaming service to replace FilmStruck

Turner and WarnerMedia announced last month that classic-film streaming service FilmStruck would be coming to an end. "We’re incredibly proud of the creativity and innovations produced by the talented and dedicated teams who worked on FilmStruck over the past two years," Turner and WarnerMedia said in a statement. "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." This prompted quite the backlash, with over 55,000 people signing a petition to keep the service alive and filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Paul Thomas Anderson, Damien Chazelle, Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro, Christopher Nolan, and many more coming to its defense.

Yesterday it was reported that WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey had said that a "new iteration" of the service was in the cards as a part of WarnerMedia's own upcoming "package of streaming services" which is scheduled to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2019. Now, The Criterion Collection has announced their own streaming service which, for all intents and purposes, will be FilmStruck 2.0. The new service is slated to launch in spring 2019, and along with a catalogue of fantastic cinema, will come with plenty of special features such as commentaries, documentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, as well as the continuation of their guest programmer series. Criterion also stated that their library will also be available through WarnerMedia's upcoming streaming platform as well. You can read the whole press-release below:

We are incredibly touched and encouraged by the flood of support we’ve been receiving since the announcement that FilmStruck will be shutting down on November 29, 2018. Our thanks go out to everyone who signed petitions, wrote letters and newspaper articles, and raised your voices to let the world know how much our mission and these movies matter to you.

Well, if you loved the curated programming we’ve been doing with our friends at FilmStruck, we have good news for you. The Criterion Collection team is going to be carrying on with that mission, launching the Criterion Channel as a freestanding service in spring 2019.

We’ve been trying to make something a little different for the past two years—a movie lover’s dream streaming service, with smart thematic programming, where the history of cinema can live and breathe, where a new generation of filmmakers and film lovers can explore the classics or revel in rarities, where adventurous cinephiles can champion films that have never gotten their due, and newcomers can easily find guidance from major filmmakers, top scholars, curators, and other experts from all walks of life.

The Criterion Channel will be picking up where the old service left off, programming director spotlights and actor retrospectives featuring major Hollywood and international classics and hard-to-find discoveries from around the world, complete with special features like commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, and original documentaries. We will continue with our guest programmer series, Adventures in Moviegoing. Our regular series like Art-House America, Split Screen, and Meet the Filmmakers, and our Ten Minutes or Less section will all live on, along with Tuesday’s Short + Feature and the Friday Night Double Feature, and of course our monthly fifteen-minute film school, Observations on Film Art.

The new service will be wholly owned and controlled by the Criterion Collection. We hope to be available in U.S. and Canada at launch, rolling out additional territories over time.

Our library will also be available through WarnerMedia’s new consumer platform when it launches late next year, so once both services are live, Criterion fans will have even more ways to find the films they love.

We will be starting from scratch, with no subscribers, so we will need all the help we can get. The most valuable thing you can do to help now is go to Criterion.com/channel and sign up to be a Charter Subscriber, then tell your friends to sign up too. 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!

As the press-release mentions, Criterion will be needing all the help they can get in order to launch their new service, so you can head over here in order to sign up to become a Charter Subscriber. This will give you a 30-day free trial, a concierge customer service from Criterion (including a customer ID and special e-mail address), a holiday Criterion gift-certificate, a Charter Subscriber membership card, and you'll also pay a reduced subscription free: $9.99 a month ($89.99 a year) instead of $10.99 a month ($100 a year).

Source: Criterion

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