Turner is starting to make good on its promise to launch three direct-to-consumer products by the end of the year.
The Time Warner company partnered with the Criterion Collection to launch its first over-the-top subscription product, Filmstruck, which will be managed by Turner Classic Movies. Targeting movie buffs, the ad-free service will feature a mix of contemporary and classic art house, indie, foreign and cult films 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.
Criterion Collection, a distribution company with more than 1,000 classic and independent movies, will move from Hulu to Filmstruck and include its own premium tier. Turner did not reveal pricing for either product.
"At Turner, we are dedicated to engaging fans wherever they are, and we're investing aggressively in content, new capabilities and new businesses to achieve that goal," said John Martin, chairman and CEO of Turner. "FilmStruck is a terrific example of our strategy to meet consumer demand for great content across all screens. It's tailor-made for the diehard movie enthusiast who craves a deep, intimate experience with independent, foreign and art house films. And it takes advantage of TCM's powerful curation capabilities, as well as its proven track record in building a long-term relationship with passionate film fans."
The rise of Netflix and Hulu has given TV networks and other content providers a new revenue stream by licensing programming they may already own, to these over-the-top platforms. Turner's Filmstruck is part of a growing trend of media companies who create niche offerings designed to super-serve a specific audience. It's not the only streaming service aimed at filmophiles, as it joins Tribeca Shortlist, Lifetime Movie Club and Sundance Doc Club.
NBCUniversal launched the comedy-focused OTT service Seeso last fall, and numerous digital media companies that live in the YouTube ecosystem—including YouTube itself—have launched subscription-based offerings.