FilmStruck Shutting Down 11/29/2018

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NEWSLETTER – OCTOBER 26, 2018

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News About FilmStruck

We have some sad news to share: earlier this morning, Turner and Warner Bros. Digital Networks announced plans to shut down FilmStruck, the streaming service that has been our happy home for the last two years. Like many of you, we are disappointed by this decision. When we launched the Criterion Channel in 2016, we had two goals: to ensure that our entire streaming library remained available, and to address our audience in our own voice. We’re proud of the work we’ve done, bringing curated programming and the full range of supplemental features to the streaming space, championing a diverse array of filmmakers from beyond our collection and creating original content that invites you into exciting conversations about cinema culture.

All this is very new, and we’ll be sure to keep you updated as we learn more details. But rest assured that we are still committed to restoring and preserving the best of world cinema and bringing it to you in any medium we can. In the weeks ahead, we’ll keep you informed about the great programming you can watch on the Channel before it shuts down on November 29, and we’ll be trying to find ways we can bring our library and original content back to the digital space as soon as possible. Thanks to everyone who enjoyed FilmStruck, and we hope you’ll join us as we look forward to what the future brings.

For further information on Criterion and our products, please visit our website at criterion.com. If you are not already on our mailing list and would like to be added, please click here to register at criterion.com. To unsubscribe, click here. © 2018 The Criterion Collection.

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31 Comments

  1. skylark68

    I figured this might happen. I remember reading about WB setting up their own streaming site a short time ago so figured the writing was on the wall. It's unfortunate.

    Very unfortunate, I wonder what happens to Criterion's streaming titles next?

  2. Race Bannon

    Hang onto your physical media for classic films.

    This has nothing to do with physical media for classic films as you're not paying to own these films digitally with what Filmstruck offered. This streaming service was more like a rental option than anything else.

  3. skylark68

    I figured this might happen. I remember reading about WB setting up their own streaming site a short time ago so figured the writing was on the wall. It's unfortunate.

    I can guarantee that the new Warner streaming site will have few , if any, classic titles.

  4. Robert Crawford

    This has nothing to do with physical media for classic films as you're not paying to own these films digitally with what Filmstruck offered. This streaming service was more like a rental option than anything else.

    If you rely on streaming, whether music or video content, it can be taken away from your access at any time based on whatever whim a corporation or an artist may have. Once you have the CD or DVD or Blu-ray, it's yours forever.

  5. SeanSKA

    If you rely on streaming, whether music or video content, it can be taken away from your access at any time based on whatever whim a corporation or an artist may have. Once you have the CD or DVD or Blu-ray, it's yours forever.

    We all get that, but I'm talking about Filmstuck and what was its business model which was more like a rental streaming app than anything else for classic film lovers. When you signed up for Filmstruck, they tell you that they rotate film titles in and out. It's not about ownership with that service. You want that then buy discs, but most people don't want to do that any longer which is why streaming and downloads have taken off among the masses. Furthermore, there are plenty of film titles that still haven't been released on disc or are no longer available to buy except for outlandish prices on Ebay that may be available to rent or whatever on some of these streaming and downloading services.

  6. Robert Crawford

    We all get that, but I'm talking about Filmstuck and what was its business model which was more like a rental streaming app than anything else for classic film lovers. When you signed up for Filmstruck, they tell you that they rotate film titles in and out. It's not about ownership with that service. You want that then buy discs, but most people don't want to do that any longer which is why streaming and downloads have taken off among the masses. Furthermore, there are plenty of film titles that still haven't been released on disc or are no longer available to buy except for outlandish prices on Ebay that may be available to rent or whatever on some of these streaming and downloading services.

    +1

    SeanSKA

    Once you have the CD or DVD or Blu-ray, it's yours forever.

    Unless it develops a defect and becomes unplayable, gets lost, is in a physical format that is no longer widely used or playable, etc. Physical media isn't infallible either. Don't get me wrong, physical media is still my preferred choice, but I've had more than a couple examples of how buying something on a physical format did not mean that I had it forever.

  7. A few weeks ago I had to throw away my Blu-ray copy of Criterion's Walkabout because it would not play in certain areas of the disc. When I got my new disc I noticed the old disc had a brownish color and not a shinny metallic. It's the first Blu-ray in my collection to rot I guess.

  8. atcolomb

    A few weeks ago I had to throw away my Blu-ray copy of Criterion's Walkabout because it would not play in certain areas of the disc. When I got my new disc I noticed the old disc had a brownish color and not a shinny metallic. It's the first Blu-ray in my collection to rot I guess.

    I would contact Criterion. They are pretty good about replacing defective discs.

  9. Robert Crawford

    We all get that, but I'm talking about Filmstuck and what was its business model which was more like a rental streaming app than anything else for classic film lovers. When you signed up for Filmstruck, they tell you that they rotate film titles in and out. It's not about ownership with that service. You want that then buy discs, but most people don't want to do that any longer which is why streaming and downloads have taken off among the masses. Furthermore, there are plenty of film titles that still haven't been released on disc or are no longer available to buy except for outlandish prices on Ebay that may be available to rent or whatever on some of these streaming and downloading services.

    I wasn't confused about how it works and I own hundreds of digital titles. But I do think this is one data point in the long period of things settling in, and I do wonder if pre-90's movies will be too niche to be a part of "a la carte" streaming packages.

    I probably confused the issue unnecessarily by choosing "physical media" as the symbolic point of reference. But the reality is that if we want to access classic films, we are more likely to have to "collect" them in own ownership form or another, rather than assume they will one day all be at our fingertips. Time will tell.

  10. Robert Crawford

    We all get that, but I'm talking about Filmstuck and what was its business model which was more like a rental streaming app than anything else for classic film lovers. When you signed up for Filmstruck, they tell you that they rotate film titles in and out. It's not about ownership with that service. You want that then buy discs, but most people don't want to do that any longer which is why streaming and downloads have taken off among the masses. Furthermore, there are plenty of film titles that still haven't been released on disc or are no longer available to buy except for outlandish prices on Ebay that may be available to rent or whatever on some of these streaming and downloading services.

    I don't disagree, but even on an extensive site like FilmStruck, with a huge catalog, you were still limited to what they had available at any time. I remember seeing they had "The Fallen Idol", and planned to watch it very soon…When I went back a week or two later …POOF, it was gone ! Therefore, I could not watch it WHEN I WANTED to watch it. Someone made that decision for me.

    Not to mention that while FilmStruck had one of the greatest film catalogs available for streaming, it's technical side was pretty poor for many users- not just myself- especially those who owned a Roku unit. There were several screenings I had to abandon due to the excessive buffering (none of which was a problem with any other app)

  11. SeanSKA

    I don't disagree, but even on an extensive site like FilmStruck, with a huge catalog, you were still limited to what they had available at any time. I remember seeing they had "The Fallen Idol", and planned to watch it very soon…When I went back a week or two later …POOF, it was gone ! Therefore, I could not watch it WHEN I WANTED to watch it. Someone made that decision for me.

    Not to mention that while FilmStruck had one of the greatest film catalogs available for streaming, it's technical side was pretty poor for many users- not just myself- especially those who owned a Roku unit. There were several screenings I had to abandon due to the excessive buffering (none of which was a problem with any other app)

    And there isn't anybody arguing that point! All of the titles available to them is on a limited basis. Poof, I'm done talking about Filmstruck's business model. It sucks that they're gone in 30 days and there's no way of getting around that reality for me.

  12. Robert Crawford

    And there isn't anybody arguing that point! All of the titles available to them is on a limited basis. Poof, I'm done talking about Filmstruck's business model. It sucks that they're gone in 30 days and there's no way of getting around that reality for me.

    I totally agree. It was a great site that offered so many titles I had been dying to see. And now it will be gone soon, because film history and film art are considered "niche" by the bean counters….

  13. You can thank A T & T for this. A T & T just made a 86 Billion buy out. And FilmStruck was part of the deal.
    Funny. Right after the sale. FilmStruck is going down.
    Now you watch. They will start a new online deal. It will take sometime. But it will happen. And you will get 50% less. And pay 50% more. I call A T & T. All Trash & Trash. And Comcast is part of this mess also.
    A T & T and Comcast are the worst of the worst. And I for one will not deal with them. They are to big.
    I must wonder who got the kick backs to let this 86Bukli

  14. marshman1138

    This is why physical media will always be my choice.

    Physical media is ideal if price is no object. But paying $20-30 for every single thing you want to see is not a viable option for most, especially compared to $10 a month for more than you could possibly watch.

  15. WhoseLineFan

    Why is the service shutting down? Does anyone know?

    Because it can't earn as much as necessary to keep it going. As a direct result of the dumb idea of every place having their own incompatible storefront, likely.

  16. You can thank A T & T for this. A T & T just made a 86 Billion buy out. And FilmStruck was part of the deal.
    Funny. Right after the sale. FilmStruck is going down.
    Now you watch. They will start a new online deal. It will take sometime. But it will happen. And you will get 50% less. And pay 50% more. I call A T & T. All Trash & Trash. And Comcast is part of this mess also.
    A T & T and Comcast are the worst of the worst. And I for one will not deal with them. They are to big.
    I must wonder who got the kick backs to let this 86Bukli

    Just imagine if your only choice was Verizon Wireless! All that and molasses-slow too!

  17. Criterion has just made a major announcement regarding their NEW streaming service, to go live in Spring 2019:

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    NEWSLETTER – NOVEMBER 16, 2018

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    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.

    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!

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  18. Robert Crawford

    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.

    Yes, also great news!

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