Time Warner is launching a Netflix competitor focused just on movies

7 Samurai 01

This fall, Time Warner’s Turner will launch a standalone streaming service
targeted at “film aficionados” called FilmStruck, the company announced Tuesday.
FilmStruck’s catalogue will feature “an eclectic mix of contemporary and classic art house, indie, foreign, and cult films,” and will be built by the teams behind Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and the Criterion Collection. The company has not yet set a price point.

FilmStruck is just the latest in a long string of Netflix-like services being pumped out by media companies including HBO, Showtime, NBC, Starz, and so on. But this offering is significant because of the focus on movies, which have seemed to fall a bit out of favour in the era of binge-watching TV shows.

As Netflix has moved toward original content, the focus has been on bulking up its TV shows. Netflix has said it will produce 31 scripted shows this year and 10 feature films. Netflix’s selection of movies has dropped by around 33% since 2014, according to research last month from AllFlicks.

That said, Netflix seems to have made movies more of a priority lately. The company has been on a shopping spree for movies at places like Sundance, and plans to spend $90 million on a new Will Smith movie, according to Deadline.

There are several other companies, like Mubi, that are going after the film buff market — but Turner seems to have the most firepower. It has snagged exclusive rights to the legendary Criterion Collection (which will still be available on Hulu until the fall).

FilmStruck will include award-winning classics like “Seven Samurai,” “A Room With A View,” and “Blood Simple.” Turner also says it will contain movies from Hollywood’s “major movie studios including Warner Bros.,” though how much of its catalogue will be new releases is yet to be seen.

But the focus isn’t on blockbusters. “It’s tailor-made for the diehard movie enthusiast who craves a deep, intimate experience with independent, foreign, and art house films,” John Martin, chairman and CEO of Turner, said in a statement.

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