WarnerMedia to close FilmStruck
October 29, 2018
By Colin Mann & Chris Forrester
WarnerMedia is to close FilmStruck, its Turner unit’s first direct-to-consumer product, initially launched in the US in October 2016.
The SVoD service, developed and managed by Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in collaboration with the Criterion Collection, features a library of films comprised of an eclectic mix of contemporary and classic art house, indie, foreign and cult films.
“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,” said Turner in a statement. “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 tweet from the service said: “FilmStruck will discontinue service on 11/29/18. If you are a current subscriber, please visit http://FilmStruck.com for refund information. It has been our pleasure bringing FilmStruck to you and we thank you for your support.”
Criterion said in a statement it was disappointed by the decision. “When we launched the Criterion Channel in 2016, we had two goals: to ensure that our entire streaming library remained available, and to address our audience in our own voice.”
“But rest assured that we are still committed to restoring and preserving the best of world cinema and bringing it to you in any medium we can. In the weeks ahead, we’ll keep you informed about the great programming you can watch on the Channel before it shuts down on November 29, and we’ll be trying to find ways we can bring our library and original content back to the digital space as soon as possible. Thanks to everyone who enjoyed FilmStruck, and we hope you’ll join us as we look forward to what the future brings.”
Turner/Warner is looking to launch an HBO-based film download service later in 2019 from WarnerMedia, but there is no international plan.