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

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Oct 26, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    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.
    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'
  2. Ion-X macrumors member


    Oct 23, 2017
    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.
  3. MysteryMii215 macrumors regular


    Jan 10, 2016
    NYC area
    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)
  4. nutmac macrumors 601

    Mar 30, 2004
    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.
  5. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    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.
  6. Belisarius macrumors newbie

    Oct 25, 2003
    South Carolina
    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.
  7. SigurTom macrumors member


    Sep 23, 2015
    Pirates have a few weeks to rip all the FilmStruck content.

    Ridiculous, as I just signed up for FilmStruck this month.
  8. ignatius345 macrumors 68020

    Aug 20, 2015
    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.
  9. Weku macrumors newbie

    May 11, 2018
    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.
  10. nburwell macrumors 601


    May 6, 2008
    Yes please! I would subscribe to their service in a heartbeat. I hated when Criterion left Hulu for Filmstruck. If they went back to Hulu, that would be great - or like you mentioned, start their own service.
  11. mcalict macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Fine. Let me subscribe to TCM a-la-carte without a cable subscription and I'll be happy.
  12. tennisproha macrumors 65816

    Jun 24, 2011
    Fans of ATT merger, where you at?!


    Funny they all went back into the woodwork pretty quick.
  13. Crow_Servo macrumors regular


    Feb 17, 2018
    That’s basically what Filmstruck was, and it just folded, so I wouldn’t expect another standalone TCM subscription service.
    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.
  14. corebeliefs Suspended


    Dec 28, 2016
    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.
  15. realworld51 macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2018
    Not quite ala carte but DirecTV Now streaming service includes TCM in their basic tier for $40 per month.
  16. Exxhara macrumors member


    Aug 2, 2017
    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.
  17. e-coli macrumors 68000


    Jul 27, 2002
    This x 100.
  18. Brien macrumors 68030


    Aug 11, 2008
    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.
  19. SandboxGeneral, Nov 29, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018

    SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


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

    For those who sign up early, they're offering a reduced price and a few other perks. I signed up.
  20. corebeliefs, Nov 29, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2018

    corebeliefs Suspended


    Dec 28, 2016
    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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19 October 26, 2018