FilmStruck

The scuttlebutt on Criterion, Eclipse, and Janus Films. Lists and polls are STRONGLY discouraged.
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Boosmahn
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:08 pm

Re: FilmStruck

#1376 Post by Boosmahn » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:29 pm

KirkG wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:12 am
I understand the comments about the problems with rolling out the service, but isn’t it likely this has much to do with Warner’s planned new streaming service? I bet they want to move much of the Filmstruck content (though probably not the Criterion items) there.
Rumor is spreading that AT&T/Warner wants to shut down Crunchyroll, the largest anime streaming site on the market. They also did this with Dramafever.

As you said, it's possible that they're trying to gather all available resources for their 2019 service.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: FilmStruck

#1377 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:47 pm

Oxidized wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:49 pm
One blue-sky idea I read today, nothing but wishful thinking, was Criterion partnering up with Apple's upcoming streaming service. On the surface that seems like it would be a good fit. I do think they'll have to continue to strike deals with larger, deeper-pocketed partners, and be subject to the profit-over-prestige whims of those partners.
Doubtful

Robespierre
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:31 pm

Re: FilmStruck

#1378 Post by Robespierre » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:50 pm

I seriously doubt the current moron in the white house, a billionaire businessman who is all about corporate agenda even more so than most politicians, is going to enact anti-trust legislation or impose sanctions/regulations on large corporations, whose side he is openly favouring. Americans are so absurdly stupid.

Noiradelic
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:45 am

Re: FilmStruck

#1379 Post by Noiradelic » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:51 pm

quequeg wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:19 pm
What am I going to do now?
The library will mostly likely be back soon on another platform.
Harmonov wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:12 am
Perhaps back to Netflix?
Criterion left Netflix because they wouldn't give Criterion a dedicated channel, so unless Netflix changes their position, it's unlikely that Criterion would return.

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Gregory
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:07 pm

Re: FilmStruck

#1380 Post by Gregory » Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:59 pm

Robespierre wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:50 pm
I seriously doubt the current moron in the white house, a billionaire businessman who is all about corporate agenda even more so than most politicians, is going to enact anti-trust legislation or impose sanctions/regulations on large corporations, whose side he is openly favouring. Americans are so absurdly stupid.
And censuring 325 million people with a single broad brush is so incredibly smart?

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FrauBlucher
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:28 pm
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Re: FilmStruck

#1381 Post by FrauBlucher » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:02 pm

Maybe Criterion and Sony can partner in a streaming service. They seem to already have a terrific partnership in the distribution area.

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senseabove
Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 3:07 am

Re: FilmStruck

#1382 Post by senseabove » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:13 pm

Having just finally signed up for FilmStruck (without the Criterion Channel) two days ago because the Pre-Code List thread made me want to revisit some things, I'm mostly curious/worried where all Warner library and other classic Hollywood will end up on streaming, if it ends up anywhere... I'm not anywhere near the first to complain that the era is virtually non-existent on Netflix or when it is there, from what I've seen on Prime, terrible quality, and since it was so heavily branded as The Place to Stream the Criterion Collection, I had never dug into FilmStruck enough to realize just how much was there.

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MichaelStockCA
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Re: FilmStruck

#1383 Post by MichaelStockCA » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:16 pm

As everybody else, I'm shocked and heartbroken. FilmStruck was the bet streaming channel ever, anywhere.

I hope that Criterion can find a new way of making the collection available. Maybe Kanopy could be an option.

As for the Warner collection my pessimistic (or is it realistic) view is that AT&T will start a new mega-service, tied to a contract with AT&T (and otherwise more expensive or/and with lower resolution, now, that net neutrality is gone) to boost their subscriber numbers. That's what you get when the market is unleashed.

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Drucker
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Joined: Wed May 18, 2011 9:37 am

Re: FilmStruck

#1384 Post by Drucker » Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:33 pm

The absolute only solution is a standalone Criterion channel. Criterion has brand recognition enough to do this. If they could include another player like Shout, Arrow, or a studio like Sony, it would be great.

The market for these streaming services is far from settled. Comcast also, btw, has a big stake in Hulu...not exactly a safe bet.

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tenia
Ask Me About My Bassoon
Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:13 am

Re: FilmStruck

#1385 Post by tenia » Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:21 pm

Drucker wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:33 pm
The absolute only solution is a standalone Criterion channel. Criterion has brand recognition enough to do this.
That'd be my proposal too. But I'm not sure there would be enough traffic to make this viable.

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movielocke
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am

Re: FilmStruck

#1386 Post by movielocke » Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:22 pm

Noiradelic wrote:
quequeg wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:19 pm
What am I going to do now?
The library will mostly likely be back soon on another platform.
Harmonov wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 11:12 am
Perhaps back to Netflix?
Criterion left Netflix because they wouldn't give Criterion a dedicated channel, so unless Netflix changes their position, it's unlikely that Criterion would return.
Netflix might want to expand into dedicated channels as well to stay relevant to the streaming con gloms mega bundles that are about to enact a 2019 streaming arms races. Hoovering up content channels with dedicated user bases may not do much fro Netflix’s bottom line since most of them already have Netflix, but it would probably lock those customers in to Netflix and make it much less likely those customers will buy the competing streaming bundles. People will be buying one or two forty dollar bundles, not all of them. And once the final season of game of thrones airs, TW won’t have anything killer that would drive subscribers to pay 40 a month the way that show will.

Noiradelic
Joined: Sun Jul 19, 2009 12:45 am

Re: FilmStruck

#1387 Post by Noiradelic » Fri Oct 26, 2018 9:02 pm

tenia wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 8:21 pm
Drucker wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 7:33 pm
The absolute only solution is a standalone Criterion channel. Criterion has brand recognition enough to do this.
That'd be my proposal too. But I'm not sure there would be enough traffic to make this viable.
If Film Movement can stay in business for several years, I don't see why a standalone channel wouldn't be viable. However, after Filmstruck being shut down, they may not be in a rush to take on even more risk on a standalone service.

I wanted to subscribe for the final month, but Filmstruck's now not enrolling new subscribers (I have an account, but wasn't subscribed).

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whaleallright
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 12:56 am

Re: FilmStruck

#1388 Post by whaleallright » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:22 pm

Gregory wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:59 pm
Robespierre wrote:
Fri Oct 26, 2018 6:50 pm
I seriously doubt the current moron in the white house, a billionaire businessman who is all about corporate agenda even more so than most politicians, is going to enact anti-trust legislation or impose sanctions/regulations on large corporations, whose side he is openly favouring. Americans are so absurdly stupid.
And censuring 325 million people with a single broad brush is so incredibly smart?
I'm an American and I say this generalization stands. Keep in mind that lots of folks have worked very hard to keep many of us stupid enough so they can get away with all kinds of shit in broad daylight. Though the end of Filmstruck is pretty far down in a list of such things.

albucat
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:06 am

Re: FilmStruck

#1389 Post by albucat » Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:31 pm

Amazon already has standalone channels, so it seems like it would make more sense there than, say, somewhere like Netflix designing a whole new interface for them. That being said, we will probably be guessing in the dark for quite a long time.

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TraverseTown
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Re: FilmStruck

#1390 Post by TraverseTown » Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:04 am

How long was the gap between Criterion leaving Hulu and becoming available on Filmstruck?

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movielocke
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 12:44 am

Re: FilmStruck

#1391 Post by movielocke » Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:07 am

TraverseTown wrote:How long was the gap between Criterion leaving Hulu and becoming available on Filmstruck?
May to November but a beta started in the summer iirc

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Minkin
Joined: Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:13 pm

Re: FilmStruck

#1392 Post by Minkin » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:01 am

Oh dear. Well, I can't say I'm terribly surprised at all by this development, but it certainly rounded out this worst week of news hell for me.

Filmstruck UK and the other international variants will be closed as well. AT&T's decision must've come as quite a surprise to everyone involved, as Filmstruck was expanding into other territories (France and Spain in June of this year) + having merged the WB Archive streaming into it as well.

I'm sure AT&T are 100% to blame and are looking to maximize their profit / immediate returns on their large purchase. As this + TCM were clearly labors of love by some dedicated groups (and probably a friendly executive) who didn't mind the pittance of revenue loss as long as they kept their fans happy. AT&T isn't going to give a rats-ass about TCM fans or the Filmstruck people. I doubt the sale contract had anything to protect these pet projects.

And remember, it wasn't just Criterion involved with Filmstruck - a lot of small labels (Flicker Alley, Icarus, Kino, Milestone, Zeitgeist, etc) were also invested in Filmstruck as their platform of choice (like Curzon in the UK).

Let us take a look at possibilities for Criterion to move to - as they were an early adopter of streaming, and have a large catalog that will interest some potential partner.

Sony - This would make sense in theory, but Sony just has their "Sony Crackle" - which is essentially a really shitty ad supported version of Hulu. I can't see Criterion on this service at all.

Any other studio's dedicated service - Same issues as Sony + would be less promoted and more diluted by studio fluff content. Though Criterion had their Godzilla films stream on Starz before making their way to Filmstruck .. and Studio Canal had movies on Filmstruck. Interesting.

Apple - Criterion already sells their films through Itunes, but censorship is going to put an end to any potential deal.

Kanopy - Criterion already partners with them for streaming, but only for libraries / educational institutions, so its far too limited for them to expand any further.

Hulu - I doubt the two left on the best terms, and Hulu always seems like its on life support, and the corporate interests (Disney, primarily I think) are probably just waiting to break it up and split the offerings for their dedicated sites. Hulu wasn't ever a very good fit anyway. Almost nobody went to Hulu for film, thus Hulu never promoted Criterion (other than a tab on the movie drop-down list).

Mubi / Fandor / etc - Does anyone still / ever use these?

Own Service - I can't imagine them going this route, with all of the costs and infrastructure that would be necessary. Plus it would just be a money loser for everyone. I know Vinegar Syndome has their streaming service, but its such a flooded market, and I'd imagine the Filmstruck issues would be magnified tenfold in another new service. Best to just partner with an existing service, unless all of the independent labels are able to unite into one service. Though I can't shake the feeling that starting another new streaming service is like starting another new cryptocurrency.

I honestly think Amazon or Netflix are their best options at this point. Netflix would probably be the better of the two, as it would have the widest impact and reach the most people, and will probably be more likely to offer exclusive branding. Whereas Amazon would just be lost in all of those add-on packages. Either of these would be worth it just so we never have to read another think-piece complaining about not being able to watch Kurosawa anywhere.

As to the physical media supremacy question - well, of course; but Criterion's Filmstruck had 100s of films that hadn't made it to disc and likely won't.

mkozlows
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:35 am

Re: FilmStruck

#1393 Post by mkozlows » Sat Oct 27, 2018 9:18 am

TraverseTown wrote:
Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:04 am
How long was the gap between Criterion leaving Hulu and becoming available on Filmstruck?
That was a different scenario, though. That was Criterion leaving a deal intentionally. This is Criterion having the rug pulled out from under it.

I think the most likely future is that all the TCM-y classic Americana stuff from the Warner archives goes into ATAT's planned upcoming Warner streaming service, and that Criterion's library gets pulled into some other service for prestige value. Which is good as far as it goes, in that it means the bulk of these movies will still be available to watch somewhere... but Filmstruck was more than just a list of movies, and that's what'll be lost.

Like, when Criterion was on Hulu, it was literally just a big list of movie titles dumped into a sub-menu somewhere. There was no way to look for things by date, by director, by country; there were no "films of Taiwan"-style features with short intros that tried to give a short high-level overview of Taiwanese film history; there were no short things analyzing how a particular movie used deep focus. Just a list of movies, in alphabetical order.

My hope is that Criterion does go to Fandor rather than one of the generic mega-corp streamers, because with Filmstruck dying, it's pretty clear that no gigantic megacorp is ever going to do something like that again, so the only hope for anything good is from the smaller indie streamers, for whom a small profit is still real money, as opposed to a non-strategic initiative that needs to be shuttered.

MongooseCmr
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Re: FilmStruck

#1394 Post by MongooseCmr » Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:01 am

I stopped paying attention to Fandor when they changed their writing section entirely to clickbait videos. People joke about Mubi’s irrelevance but I can’t imagine anyone subscribing to Fandor. If and when they sink Criterion would be a seriously damaged streaming brand, losing threee hosts in five years or less.

Netflix will never take this on. It goes against their entire business model of producing and distributing in-house. I don’t know the specifics of setting up an Amazon channel, but that’s the likeliest option short term.

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jindianajonz
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Re: FilmStruck

#1395 Post by jindianajonz » Sat Oct 27, 2018 11:13 am

This just goes to show you, the only way for any true film fan to keep their favorites accessible is to put the whole cast and crew on retainer so that they can recreate the film at a moments notice.

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flyonthewall2983
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Re: FilmStruck

#1396 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:24 pm

What if somehow they consolidate with Mubi and Fandor? Their experience at this, and Criterion's content (as well as theirs) would be enough of a shot I'd think.

I'm really heartened by the negative response this is getting on Twitter, pretty much everyone from fans like me to major directors and actors. The petition has gotten over 2,000 signatures in the time since it started. I realize it's not going to change AT&T's mind, but combined with the social media response I could see it enticing someone else with enough resources to help Criterion get back on their feet again.

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jedgeco
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Re: FilmStruck

#1397 Post by jedgeco » Sun Oct 28, 2018 3:56 pm

There's no future in tagging along to someone else's streaming service, as original programming is becoming the coin of that realm. While I don't really want Criterion to have to shift resources away from it's core capabilities (i.e., restoring films for home video), with AWS, Google, and Microsoft all offering cheap cloud storage, Criterion starting and operating its own service seems like less of a heavy lift in 2018 than it did in 2015.

albucat
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Re: FilmStruck

#1398 Post by albucat » Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:14 pm

As a corollary: there are also a lot of people who made the Filmstruck infrastructure who are most likely out of a job. Nigh infinite-scaling streaming isn't easy, but when you already know people who've made it...

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danieltiger
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Re: FilmStruck

#1399 Post by danieltiger » Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:43 pm

albucat wrote:
Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:14 pm
As a corollary: there are also a lot of people who made the Filmstruck infrastructure who are most likely out of a job. Nigh infinite-scaling streaming isn't easy, but when you already know people who've made it...
FilmStruck didn't build their own infrastructure, they used a streaming service company from Canada. Those folks are probably fine, as are whomever they contracted to do the apps. Still, maybe some support staff on the FilmStruck side are gonna be looking for new gigs.

phantomforce
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Re: FilmStruck

#1400 Post by phantomforce » Tue Oct 30, 2018 6:47 am

can't we just build some sort of blockchain torrent infrastructure to turn into a Criterion Channel ?

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