Turner Classic Movies just launched a new subscription video-on-demand service called FilmStruck. The pitch: have the ability to stream obscure, critically-acclaimed films from your desktop and mobile devices. If this does not sound novel, it is because it is not, but where the new service stands out is the involvement of The Criterion Collection, whose entire library is available on the site's "Criterion Channel". In case you're wondering, yes, the films come with Criterion special features.
What it will cost you: not much, apparently. The base $6.99 plan buys you a month's access to a decent selection of hard-to-find films. FilmStruck also tops it up with a host of exclusive bonus content. The Criterion plan is a more premium service that adds about a thousand titles to the base plan, along with premium special features including audio commentaries, masterclasses, and curated series as curated by key people in the movie world. The Criterion plan will set you back $10.99 if you want to pay on the monthly, and $99 if you want to pay for the whole year.
The new service, bold as it may, raises a few concerns. The consensus: how will it stack up with streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime? Especially for a film-exclusive platform? Such concerns are valid but possibly misaligned. The type of "niche" service that FilmStruck strives to provide has seen incredible success. Mubi, who now finds a serious competitor in the new service, is backed by a rich community of cinephiles that enables it to flourish. And let's not forget the involvement of Criterion here, a brand with perhaps one of the most loyal followers. And finally, if I have learned anything in business, it is that "niche" isn't necessarily a bad thing. In brief, FilmStruck, all things considered, should be good.
The only drawback here: it's currently only available in the good ol' United States. Visit the FilmStruck website today and get a free 14-day trial.