I really love Netflix. I've been a customer from the very beginning, and I think I even have a couple of seven year overdue discs laying around my apartment. I love Netflix's original content. A lot. But at the same time I recognize what has happened to Netflix in recent years - their success has led to studios and libraries no longer being willing to license their material to the service. Why let Netflix have all our shit, CBS reasons, when we can just create our own Netflix? What had once been the great unified hope of streaming has become a fragmented mess. Half of us are subscribed to half a dozen different services, a big monthly bill that we couldn't have even IMAGINED a decade ago.
Add another one to the list, and a good one at that. Turner Classic Movies and the Criterion Collection are teaming up to create FilmStruck, a streaming service dedicated to classic, indie and arthouse movies. So it's Netflix for good films. FilmStruck will be the exclusive online home to the Criterion Collection, which means some of the world's greatest cinema will live there. The site will have "hundreds" of titles on launch, including 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. These are all very, very good movies.
What will it cost? We don't know yet. I have to imagine it'll be a bit on the pricier side, as this is going to be a niche service. Thankfully I'm in that niche; over the last few weeks I have been contemplating canceling my cable and it was only Turner Classic Movies keeping me tied down. Now that problem has solved itself.
This fragmented landscape, by the way - it's the way it was always going to go. It's probably the future. The evolution of the internet has been the same over the last 20 years - for a hot minute you get things free/cheap until the companies figure out they can't possibly sustain that model anymore. The dream of a Netflix where everything resided was a nice one, but it was always clear that each studio/rights holder was going to set up their own streaming service at some point, otherwise they would be leaving money on the table. We've been cut free from the cable box, but we have still found ourselves in an a la mode subscription world.
Go to filmstruck.com to sign up to be notified of further details.