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LawrenceA

WarnerMedia Streaming Service

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I just ran across this article and thought that it may be of some interest to those around here:

In a fairly major announcement coming just months after the wonderfully acronymed TWATT acquisition deal, AT&T has revealed that it plans to unveil a direct-to-consumer streaming video service featuring WarnerMedia’s films and TV series by the end of next year.

The aim is to bring a direct competitor to VOD giants like Netflix, Disney and Amazon, one that includes Warners’ portfolio – everything from HBO through Turner and Warner Brothers properties (including their vast film and TV libraries) with the company planning to forgo future licensing deals with rivals in order to obtain all their rights back.

No details were revealed about how much the service will cost, what its name will be or the date it will become available. Nor is there any word as to how it will impact existing Warner-owned SVOD services like HBO Now and DC Universe beyond it being described as a service with HBO’s library as its anchor and a ‘collection of boutiques’ around it. One thing that is confirmed – it will not include CNN.

WarnerMedia rep John Stankey says: “We are committed to launching a compelling and competitive product that will serve as a complement to our existing businesses and help us to expand our reach by offering a new choice for entertainment with the WarnerMedia collection of films, television series, libraries, documentaries and animation loved by consumers around the world.”

The announcement comes as the Walt Disney Company readies to launch its SVOD service next year.

Source: The New York Times

Edit - FYI: VOD = Video On Demand

SVOD = Streaming Video On Demand

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Unless I am misinterpreting, this seems like a revamping of the Warner Archive. It will be the same titles already in heavy rotation on TCM, plus the ones featured as part of TCM Select on FilmStruck. It all feels a bit redundant.

The only thing that seems "good" about it is maybe more classic Warner brothers TV series (Maverick, Alice, Scarecrow & Mrs. King, etc.) will be available for streaming. And possibly some obscure TV movies will be brought out of the vaults.

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3 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

Unless I am misinterpreting, this seems like a revamping of the Warner Archive. It will be the same titles already in heavy rotation on TCM, plus the ones featured as part of TCM Select on FilmStruck. It all feels a bit redundant.

The only thing that seems "good" about it is maybe more classic Warner brothers TV series (Maverick, Alice, Scarecrow & Mrs. King, etc.) will be available for streaming. And possibly some obscure TV movies will be brought out of the vaults.

I'm curious if it will have any effect on FilmStruck. I'm not sure how well that service is doing financially (I love it, and that usually bodes ill), but I could see them bringing those titles under this new banner, and making it a "channel", much the way Amazon Prime has branched out into that type of content parsing. 

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11 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

I'm curious if it will have any effect on FilmStruck. I'm not sure how well that service is doing financially (I love it, and that usually bodes ill), but I could see them bringing those titles under this new banner, and making it a "channel", much the way Amazon Prime has branched out into that type of content parsing. 

Very possible. I think we've reached the point where they're just re-selling the same old things (in this case Ted Turner's package of classic films) under different banners/names. Also they are trying to sound big to compete with those other companies.

The trick is they don't include every title on each platform (TCM, FilmStruck, Warner Archive, WarnerMedia Streaming). So you have to subscribe to multiple services and deal with the redundancy in order to get all of what you want to see.

I sincerely doubt they will change FilmStruck to accommodate the new service. But they will just limit some of the titles they currently make available as part of TCM Select so people will have to add the other service to get the rest of the films.

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I periodically watch some of the titles in the Warner collection on Amazon, especially if I see they're free with my membership. Gone With the Wind was free in September, so what the heck. I watched it for the eleventy-zillionth time. And All the President's Men was free during one of the summer months. But I've also shelled out $2,99 to watch an SD movie or $3.99 for an HD one, about the same as I what used to pay to rent movies at a store. AmazonPrime, bases on my admittedly limited experience, is the most amazing treasure trove out there for fans of classic movies. I would hate for them to lose access to the Warner properties, but sadly, I fear that's the wave of the future. One day, I imagine we will all look back wistfully at this time as the glory days, before we had to pay a fee to every individual film studio, TV network and/or media outlet to stream all their product, past/present and future. (I've also used Amazon to watch some Fox/Paramount/Universal/Columbia stuff that airs on TCM less often or not at all).  

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2 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

One day, I imagine we will all look back wistfully at this time as the glory days, before we had to pay a fee to every individual film studio, TV network and/or media outlet to stream all their product, past/present and future.

I'm still amazed anybody thought a la carte cable channel purchasing would be a good idea.

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I wouldn't be against it, if the price was reasonable! I only watch two channels a ton (TCM and my the network my local baseball team is on) and only about eight or 10 other channels ever. If could just pay, I don't know, $15/month and only get those channels, I'd be a happy camper. For now, I seem to be stuck having to get cable to watch my baseball team. To my knowledge, I can't stream their games unless I live far enough away from them to be considered "out of area", which is probably 150 miles or more. I've heard 25-year-olds talk about ways they override that, but I don't know any of that stuff, which is probably illegal anyway.

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2 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Unless I am misinterpreting, this seems like a revamping of the Warner Archive. It will be the same titles already in heavy rotation on TCM, plus the ones featured as part of TCM Select on FilmStruck. It all feels a bit redundant.

Filmstruck was going to be a TCM & Criterion service when it opened, and then when it did, the TCM part was mysteriously missing, and we put up with a year of the Criterion Channel.  Until Warner Instant Archive folded, and then we got the glorious mix of Criterion arthouse with all the vintage Warner classics that had been banished to Mad King Ludwig's Dungeon.  ;)

This seems more like a combination of:

  1. AT&T finally throwing in the towel over creating their own corporate-branded smartphone-friendly streaming network (yes, with original programming), after the Time-Warner sale,
  2. Warner's ultimate failure with Ultraviolet DRM making them twice as eager to pursue the new "streaming future" for digital movies, without having to go crawl to Amazon or Netflix,
  3. A new streaming-fatigue-era move for corporate-branded networks to consolidate instead of splintering off a dozen vanity favorites, so most of the new shows being produced for the "DC Universe channel" will now have a more central home.

...Give 'em time, they're getting it.

Quote

The only thing that seems "good" about it is maybe more classic Warner brothers TV series (Maverick, Alice, Scarecrow & Mrs. King, etc.) will be available for streaming. And possibly some obscure TV movies will be brought out of the vaults.

It's possible--I only had time to start vintage Maverick reruns on Starz' Cowboy Channel, before they left Netflix in '13--but Warner being Warner, they'll probably stick to more recent 90's-00's fare.

Not sure if Filmstruck will go back to being an all-Criterion channel, or whether they'll let the Archive stay in "exile" over there (all the 70's/80's TV movies are semi-PD Archive fodder, and FS's territory)--But if it does get a few corporately-branded Warner "audience favorite" series back into the general ether, where they show up at the common watering-hole of Amazon and Hulu, it'll be nice to have vintage reruns back to show the new kids what they're doing wrong.  

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I'm disappointed that they didn't move all of the Warner Archive Instant movies over to FilmStruck when they merged. They seem to just be cycling some in and out. Warner Archive Instant had a pretty concrete library that almost never lost films and occasionally had more added.

In the email about the merger I received, they even seemed to say that the films would all be available on FilmStruck after the merger:

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Most of the movies are gone, including oddities that I enjoyed watching, such as Bluebeard's 10 Honeymoons (1960) with George Sanders.

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I agree with MovieCollectorOH. Boring. Switching from cable or satellite to streaming only, the concept of cord cutting, is getting too weird. By the time you cherry pick the various services you want, it is probably cheaper and considerably more reliable to stay with "the big black wire" from cable or satellite.

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On 10/11/2018 at 1:35 PM, Fedya said:

I'm still amazed anybody thought a la carte cable channel purchasing would be a good idea.

Dish/Slingtv has been trying to do that for over a decade. Sling's original goal was $20/20 channels, you choose.

Its the channels themselves that won't budge. If you want AMC for example, you have to also take Independent Film Channel (IFC), WeTV, Sundance Channel, And BBC America as a package. When shows like Mad Men and The Walking Dead were going strong, services only wanted AMC by itself. But, the network would not give in. AMC was even blacked out for a time on Dish. 

As it stands now, there are enough streaming options going that you can cobble together a viewing package that's pretty much only programming you wish to see.

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31 minutes ago, cmovieviewer said:

AT&T / Warner Bros. just set a terrible example by shutting down their 9-year old DramaFever streaming service for Korean dramas yesterday with zero advanced notice for their customers.

https://variety.com/2018/digital/news/dramafever-k-drama-shutting-down-warner-bros-1202982001/

Sounds like they're in a massive restructuring phase.

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