AT&T and WarnerMedia Announce Closure of Classic Movie Streaming Service 'FilmStruck'

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It's now been just over four months since AT&T completed its acquisition of Time Warner, and today AT&T has made a move to streamline WarnerMedia assets with the discontinuation of classic film streaming service FilmStruck. The service is now warning visitors to its website that it will be shutting down on November 29, 2018, and as of today is no longer enrolling new subscribers (via Variety).

FilmStruck was available on iOS and tvOS, but it appears that the app has been removed from both App Stores. On iOS, a search for "FilmStruck" guides users to TCM's new streaming app Watch TCM.


All current FilmStruck subscribers will receive an email with more details, including potential refunds, and the company put together a list of FAQs for more information. FilmStruck will remain in operation for the next month, and in a tweet the company said, "It has been our pleasure bringing FilmStruck to you and we thank you for your support."

FilmStruck debuted in November 2016, offering a lineup of nearly 2,000 classic, indie, foreign, and cult films, as well as acting as the streaming home to the Criterion Collection. Subscribers paid $6.99/month for the service, or $10.99/month for the service with access to the Criterion Collection. Films available on FilmStruck include the original "A Star is Born", "Casablanca", "The Music Man," and many more.

According to a statement provided by Turner and WB Digital Networks, FilmStruck remained a niche service for its entire lifetime, leading to the discontinuation.
"We're incredibly proud of the creativity and innovations produced by the talented and dedicated teams who worked on FilmStruck over the past two years. While FilmStruck has a very loyal fanbase, it remains largely a niche service. We plan to take key learnings from FilmStruck to help shape future business decisions in the direct-to-consumer space and redirect this investment back into our collective portfolios."
A few other WarnerMedia digital services have been shut down following the AT&T acquisition, including the Korean drama-focused DramaFever and digital content TV studio Super Deluxe. According to a source familiar with AT&T's strategy, "They felt Time Warner overall had too many initiatives," leading to the pruning of services that lack broad appeal.

Turner Classic Movies offers an alternative for Apple TV owners with the recently launched "Watch TCM" tvOS app. Unlike FilmStruck's separate monthly streaming service cost, Watch TCM is an app that users can connect to their cable subscriptions to watch "nearly every title playing on TCM."

Before FilmStruck goes away for good, the Criterion Collection promises that it will keep subscribers informed about the programming they can watch on the service before it shuts down in late November. Looking forward, the company will be trying to find ways to "bring our library and original content back to the digital space as soon as possible."

Article Link: AT&T and WarnerMedia Announce Closure of Classic Movie Streaming Service 'FilmStruck'
 

MysteryMii215

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Jan 10, 2016
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First off, insert "**** AT&T" reply here,

Second, I think Criterion should really just start their own streaming service,

Third, this now makes 6 (not including the upcoming Warner streaming service) OTT streaming services that AT&T operates under WarnerMedia. (The remaining services being HBO NOW, Boomerang, DC Universe, Crunchyroll, VRV, and Rooster Teeth First)
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
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Second, I think Criterion should really just start their own streaming service,
Apple should strike a deal or acquire them outright.

Criterion has amazing collection of movies, often with compelling extra contents and great transfers.

I realize Criterion merely licenses movies, so the deal is not a simple one. But the value of Apple streaming service would go up significantly for me and many film buffs with Criterion on its lineup.
 

Belisarius

macrumors newbie
Oct 25, 2003
22
2
South Carolina
AT&T destroys a service many thousands of people enjoy because it is not profitable enough—who could have seen this coming? See also: DramaFever, which was the only legal way to accessible hundreds of Korean dramas.

Back to piracy it is.
It's a shame, because Filmstruck had stuff that you really couldn't find anywhere else – it's a market that's not really served by anyone else. Sadly, piracy isn't even the answer, as much of Filmstruck's content isn't even available that way.

Hopefully someone will pick this up, though given its somewhat niche nature, I'm not that hopeful.
 

SigurTom

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2015
83
160
It's a shame, because Filmstruck had stuff that you really couldn't find anywhere else – it's a market that's not really served by anyone else. Sadly, piracy isn't even the answer, as much of Filmstruck's content isn't even available that way.

Hopefully someone will pick this up, though given its somewhat niche nature, I'm not that hopeful.
Pirates have a few weeks to rip all the FilmStruck content.

Ridiculous, as I just signed up for FilmStruck this month.
 
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ignatius345

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Aug 20, 2015
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Isn't OTT the ideal platform for a "niche service"? Who the hell cares if FilmStruck didn't get to the size of Hulu or whatever. It's all content that's already produced! Keep a few film buffs on staff to curate it and let your in-house techs keep it running. But this is what happens when you put the bean counters in charge.
 

Weku

macrumors newbie
May 11, 2018
5
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More terrible news from AT&T. I really liked Film Struck/Criterion Collection. I certainly hope they find a different way to be able to offer the classics online again.
They will. This is just the first step in creating the eventual Warner streaming service to compete with Netflix and Disney’s upcoming streaming service. They are going to fold all these Warner services into a single service. Boomerang will probably be the next one Warner closes.
 

Crow_Servo

macrumors regular
Feb 17, 2018
192
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America
Fine. Let me subscribe to TCM a-la-carte without a cable subscription and I'll be happy.
That’s basically what Filmstruck was, and it just folded, so I wouldn’t expect another standalone TCM subscription service.
Apple should strike a deal or acquire them outright.

Criterion has amazing collection of movies, often with compelling extra contents and great transfers.

I realize Criterion merely licenses movies, so the deal is not a simple one. But the value of Apple streaming service would go up significantly for me and many film buffs with Criterion on its lineup.
Rumor has it that Apple’s streaming content will be free to Apple owners, so they will probably only invest in their own original content, as opposed to acquiring rights to catalogue content. My guess at least.
 
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corebeliefs

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Dec 28, 2016
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Criterion overplayed its hand by leaving Hulu. The market didn't accept a $10.99 per month fee to watch. Filmstruck also didn't roll out apps to all popular devices. If Criterion goes it alone, it would have to charge something like $5.99/month to compete, like Acorn TV or Britbox. Even then those services are offering new content, which seems to be a draw for today's viewer. (I get that Criterion are the classics, but still it didn't sell.)

They should go back to Hulu. Was a great fit.
 

Exxhara

macrumors member
Aug 2, 2017
59
92
AT&T destroys a service many thousands of people enjoy because it is not profitable enough—who could have seen this coming? See also: DramaFever, which was the only legal way to accessible hundreds of Korean dramas.

Back to piracy it is.
Seriously! I was so mad when they discontinued DramaFever because I was with that service since they first started when you had to get access by invite only in 2007. 11 Years later, they're almost as big as NetFlix and all of a sudden they shut down without even a prior notice to customers. The only other place to watch Korean Dramas is Viki or Kocowa but those services are not as convenient as DramaFever and because each service had different licenses so the dramas on DramaFever weren't on Viki or Kocowa.

Seriously AT&T is s**t. I'm so mad they did that. They better have a great super service coming up or something to replace all these services they're shutting down ugh.
 

e-coli

macrumors 68000
Jul 27, 2002
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Apple should strike a deal or acquire them outright.

Criterion has amazing collection of movies, often with compelling extra contents and great transfers.

I realize Criterion merely licenses movies, so the deal is not a simple one. But the value of Apple streaming service would go up significantly for me and many film buffs with Criterion on its lineup.
This x 100.
 

Brien

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Aug 11, 2008
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They will. This is just the first step in creating the eventual Warner streaming service to compete with Netflix and Disney’s upcoming streaming service. They are going to fold all these Warner services into a single service. Boomerang will probably be the next one Warner closes.
Except the WarnerMedia streaming service will likely cater to the mass market and all these classic, but obscure, films and cartoons or whatnot may not be on it.

Also, Criterion was a better fit on Filmstruck even though it was nice not having to pay two subscription fees when I had Hulu, and I agree they should just launch thwir own service.
 
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SandboxGeneral

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Sep 8, 2010
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An email just went out announcing that Criterion is launching a new, independent service in the Spring of 2019.

https://www.criterion.com/channel

For those who sign up early, they're offering a reduced price and a few other perks. I signed up.
It is a sad day. FilmStruck is shutting down at midnight tonight. Thank you for being one of the people who gave FilmStruck and the Criterion Channel a chance in its first two years. Without you we would never have gotten this far. It feels as if we were just hitting our stride, and it's heartbreaking that the passion project of Turner Classic Movies and the Criterion Collection has to come to an end. FilmStruck has left its mark on us at Criterion. The lights may go out at midnight, but we will still be carrying the torch.

If you’ve loved the curated programming on FilmStruck and the Criterion Channel, there’s a glimmer of hope on the horizon. We’ve been given a second chance, an opportunity, with TCM’s blessing, to rebuild an independent service, owned and run by Criterion, with a mission to pick up where FilmStruck left off.

Set to launch in the U.S. and Canada in spring 2019, the new service will not only include our own streaming library but will also feature a full spectrum of Hollywood classics and carefully selected films from independent distributors around the world. We’ll be applying the lessons we learned at FilmStruck, and the mission will be the same: to create a dedicated movie lover’s dream streaming service, with diverse thematic programming, supplemental features, guest programmers, hosted introductions, and more.

We need your support! Please sign up to become a Charter Subscriber today. It only takes a minute and you don’t need to put down a credit card, but if you do sign up now, you’ll enjoy a reduced subscription price and other benefits for life, as long your membership stays continuously active.

We know there are only a few hours left to get through all those great movies still on your FilmStruck watchlist, but please take a moment and sign up to keep the original mission and spirit of an adventurous, curated, film-focused streaming service alive. We can’t do it without you!
Thank you for signing up to become a Criterion Channel Charter Subscriber. We will contact you soon with details about how to create and activate your account. Your charter subscription will not be active until you complete that process.

If you loved the curated programming we’ve been doing with our friends at FilmStruck, you can look forward to us picking up where the old service left off, programming director spotlights and actor retrospectives of major Hollywood and international classics and hard-to-find discoveries from around the world, complete with special features like commentaries, behind-the-scenes footage, and original documentaries. And our regular Channel series—the guest programmer program Adventures in Moviegoing, Observations on Film Art, Tuesday’s Short + Feature, Art-House America, and the Friday double bill—will all be back as well.

As a Charter Subscriber, you will receive an extended thirty-day trial period. Once you activate your account, your card will not be charged until the service has been live for thirty days. Your charter subscription benefits, including reduced pricing, will be yours to enjoy for as long as you keep your membership active.

Stay tuned for more information. And in the meantime, share the news with your friends and family, sign up for our newsletter, and follow the Criterion Channel on Twitter at @criterionchannl for updates.

Thanks so much for your support. We can’t do it without you.
The Criterion Collection
 
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corebeliefs

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An email just went out announcing that Criterion is launching a new, independent service in the Spring of 2019.

https://www.criterion.com/channel

For those who sign up early, they're offering a reduced price and a few other perks. I signed up.
Thanks for this. Too expensive. $5.99/mo is realistic for a bunch of old films, sorry, masterpieces. They'll find out.

Edit: I totally get wanting to subscribe to this, and I would too at the right price. It seems that Criterion thinks the reason Filmstruck failed was its name because it's pricing its own service exactly the same way.
 
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