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.

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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."

Top Rated Comments

Ion-X Avatar
29 months ago
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.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MysteryMii215 Avatar
29 months ago
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)
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nutmac Avatar
29 months ago

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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ignatius345 Avatar
29 months ago
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.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SandboxGeneral Avatar
29 months ago
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.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nburwell Avatar
29 months ago


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

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.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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