Pretty excited about this. From The Criterion Collection newsletter:
Dear friends of Criterion,
We launched this newsletter more than ten years ago with the promise to keep you up-to-date about new releases and any exciting goings-on around here. Today, we’re writing you personally because we think the launch of FilmStruck and the Criterion Channel is truly a game changer for us, for our fans, and for all people who enjoy great films.
On October 19, the Criterion Collection and Turner Classic Movies will launch a subscription streaming service built by people who love movies for people who love movies. It will be unlike anything out there, with thematic programming, introductions, special features, and much more. FilmStruck, the primary service, programmed by the team at TCM, will feature a rotating selection of Criterion titles alongside movies licensed from sources around the world. A premium option for FilmStruck subscribers, the Criterion Channel will be our home base in the streaming space, programmed and produced by the Criterion team, where we can take our mission to a whole new level.
Criterion Channel subscribers will have unlimited access to the largest selection of Criterion titles ever available on a streaming service—all the time. Our own ever-expanding streaming library includes many of the best-known classics in the Criterion Collection, along with hundreds of rare films you won’t find in any other medium, but we’ll also be featuring full Criterion special editions of titles licensed from major studios as well as out-of-print titles and films that have never been available to us on home video. We’ve worked hard to make the Criterion Channel a worthwhile addition for our core Criterion Blu-ray and DVD customers and regular FilmStruck subscribers alike by creating original, channel-exclusive content, director profiles, live events, guest-curated series, and a programming rotation where there will be something new happening just about every night of the week.
We’ve had a great five years at Hulu, but the opportunity to build our own channel with the help of the incredible team at TCM is a dream come true for our company. FilmStruck will be the exclusive streaming home of the Criterion Collection as of November 11, when our library will be leaving Hulu. The monthly cost of FilmStruck and the Criterion Channel together will be $10.99, but you can sign up for the FilmStruck newsletter to receive a free two-week trial offer when the services go live.
We have talked (and debated) for years about the best way to bring some sort of subscription plan to our viewers, and with FilmStruck and the Criterion Channel, we believe we’ve finally found it. The first week on the channel, we’re bringing back the out-of-print commentary from The Silence of the Lambs. Catch a double feature on Friday nights. Find a short with a feature on Tuesdays. The possibilities are endless, and we’ve just begun to explore them.
It’s been thirty-three years since Criterion published its first special edition laserdisc and nearly twenty since the dawn of DVD. The launch of FilmStruck and the Criterion Channel marks another exciting beginning for us. We are as committed as ever to publishing the world’s greatest films in definitive Blu-ray and DVD editions, but we think these new services are going to add a whole new dimension to the Criterion experience, and we hope you’ll give them a try.
Jonathan Turell and Peter Becker