Monday, February 26, 2018

FilmStruck and Warner Archive Streaming News

Big streaming news today regarding both the FilmStruck and Warner Archive film streaming services.

It's been announced that TCM's FilmStruck service, known to this point for streaming foreign, indie, and Criterion films, will now offer a "TCM Select" collection of classic films from the Warner Bros. library.

The content additions will take effect beginning today, February 26th.

At the same time, Warner Archive will cease its streaming business and transition its subscribers to FilmStruck accounts.

Variety quotes Warner Bros. exec Craig Hunegs as saying "We had a decision to make on Warner Archive. We were going to go bigger, add more films, and invest in improving the user experience. But after sitting down and looking at it, rather than having two overlapping services going after the same audience, we decided to combine them."

TCM's Ben Mankiewicz will be recording introductions for some of the films, exclusively for FilmStruck. The service will group some films in curated collections, including a "Star of the Week" theme.

In addition to the links above, here's a roundup of additional news coverage:

*The Hollywood Reporter

*The Los Angeles Times

*IndieWire

*Deadline

*Entertainment Weekly

A 30-second FilmStruck Twitter video announcing the news may be found here.

The FilmStruck streaming service, including the TCM Select films, is $6.99 per month. Adding on the Criterion Channel raises the cost to $10.99 per month. There's also a less expensive $99 per year option, including the Criterion Channel, which comes to a savings of over $32 per year.

There's no indication in any of the coverage to date that the addition of TCM Select to FilmStruck will affect Watch TCM, a streaming app available to those who subscribe to a cable service carrying TCM. Watch TCM is available on desktop or mobile devices but is not available for streaming on TV.

Coincidentally, my friend Angela has just posted detailed thoughts on subscribing to FilmStruck at The Hollywood Revue. She includes quite a bit of useful information on using the service, which will now be offering even more than she knew when writing her review!

I've had a media account for Warner Archive streaming for the last few months and recently received an offer for a free month of FilmStruck. I'll probably be giving it a whirl in the near future via my Roku.

I'll be reporting any future FilmStruck and TCM developments as they occur!

Previously: TCM News: FilmStruck and TCM Backlot (May 22, 2016).

Related: More TCM News: New Co-Hosts and Robert Osborne Award (March 2, 2018).

2 Comments:

Blogger Jef Costello said...

Laura,

I just subscribed to Filmstruck for my free trial and checked out the TCM Select offerings. It was, unfortunately what I was afraid of: films that are easily available and overplayed on TCM, such as Casablanca and Stagecoach. I was hoping they would have a deeper selection of films like Warner Instant used to offer such as B-westerns or lesser known but still worthwhile dramas, comedies and other genres that don't often receive exposure.

Perhaps they'll expand the lineup in the future and are just showing popular classics to entice new members. I'd really hate to see the majority of Warner's library go unused. Also, I sure wish Watch TCM would make the leap to streaming, especially for Roku.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Jef!

Thanks much for sharing your impressions. I'm kind of taking a "wait and see" attitude since they have had some unusual indie and other stuff at FilmStruck, hoping that as time goes on maybe they'll "curate" collections of B Westerns and goodies like that. If you read this blog regularly you know I have a real appreciation for lesser-known classic-era films and I would love to see them on FilmStruck.

I'm kind of thinking that this announcement means we won't see Watch TCM streaming for TVs/Rokus, as that would compete more directly with FilmStruck than it currently does being restricted to devices and desktops...as it is now, we've got FilmStruck streaming competing with TCM, but hopefully it will all help grow the audience rather than be a negative.

I'll be interested to see what develops regarding all of this! Thanks again --

Best wishes,
Laura

2:32 PM  

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