Warner Combines Movie Streaming Services, Shutting Down Warner Archive Instant
Time Warner had FilmStruck (launched 2016), an arthouse movie streaming service focusing on indie and foreign films. They also had Warner Archive Instant (launched 2013), which provided streaming of classic movie and TV shows. Now, they just have FilmStruck, with the classic movies moving over to the first service, including such well-known titles as Casablanca, Rebel Without a Cause, Singin’ in the Rain, Citizen Kane, The Music Man, Bringing Up Baby, The Thin Man, and Cat People.
The Warner Archive store, providing made-on-demand copies of cult and classic movies and TV shows, isn’t affected, as they clarified on Twitter.
Some understandable confusion has arisen over recent news re: @WarnerArchInst which was spun off as its own entity 3 years ago. The #WarnerArchive Collection, our podcast, our iTunes downloads and our Blu-ray & DVDs aren't going anywhere. Thanks for your continued support! pic.twitter.com/FrCgBNCDPZ
— Warner Archive (@WarnerArchive) February 26, 2018
Subscribers will be getting a better deal, as FilmStruck is $6.99 a month instead of $9.99 a month. (To get access to the Criterion Collection movies, it’s $10.99 a month or $99 a year.) According to the Hollywood Reporter,
Jennifer Dorian, general manager of FilmStruck and Turner Classic Movies, said, “Adding Hollywood classics into the service was a direct response to consumer demand, and we’re thrilled to continue growing our award-winning film library while building the ultimate streaming movie service for serious film fans.”
FilmStruck will also add a feature called TCM Select, “presenting classic movies with introductions from TCM host Ben Mankiewicz, archival content, and bonus material.” According to Variety, Craig Hunegs, president of Warner Bros. Digital Networks and president of business and strategy for Warner Bros. Television Group, said,
“It was a pretty easy decision” to shutter Warner Archive and add WB’s movie catalog to FilmStruck. “We had a decision to make on Warner Archive. We were going to go bigger, add more films, and invest in improving the user experience. But after sitting down and looking at it, rather than having two overlapping services going after the same audience, we decided to combine them.”
FilmStruck had “many times more” subscribers. This certainly makes the service more attractive to me, as the classics, particularly with the TCM framing, are my favorites, and it’s hard to find them on streaming.
There was no mention of what will happen to the TV shows previously offered by Warner Archive Instant. But this is part of keeping the TCM brand relevant. Again per Variety, “Turner is contemplating offering a multiplex of TCM channels to pay-TV operators, grouped around themes like Westerns or comedies.”