Apple TV viewers, you’re in luck! FilmStruck, the new streaming service we launched with Turner Classic Movies last month, is now available on Apple TV fourth-generation devices, in addition to Amazon Fire TV, web, iOS, and Android devices. Those using older Apple TV boxes can access the service via AirPlay. And if you use Roku, Chromecast, Xbox One, or PlayStation, stay tuned—we’re working on going live on those players in 2017.
We appreciate all the feedback we’ve received from subscribers since launching in November. As we continue to improve the technical features of the service, we thought we’d take a moment to respond and update you on what you can look forward to in the coming months.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions so far:
What is currently available for viewing on FilmStruck?
For $6.99 per month, FilmStruck, the primary service, offers a rotating selection of about five hundred films drawn from a combination of our streaming library and the libraries of major studios and independent rights holders around the world. At any given time, subscribers can expect to find about two hundred titles from the Criterion library integrated into the thematic programming on FilmStruck.
For $99 a year or $10.99 a month, premium subscribers have access to the primary service as well as the Criterion Channel, our home base in the streaming world. The Criterion Channel will offer unlimited continual access to our entire streaming library of more than a thousand films with their special features.
How do the offerings on FilmStruck differ from what was previously available to stream on Hulu?
So far, we have uploaded more than nine hundred films to the Criterion Channel, along with their supplemental features, more than were ever available on Hulu, but the effort is still ongoing. Some films previously available on Hulu have not yet made the transition. We expect to be fully loaded in early 2017, but we will of course continue to expand the library after that.
There are many films that Criterion has released on disc that are not a part of our permanent streaming library, and as a result none of those films were ever available as part of our Hulu offering. On the Criterion Channel, for the first time we are able to include our editions of major studio titles on a limited-engagement basis, usually from one to six months. The complete edition of Mulholland Drive, for example, has been available on the Criterion Channel since launch but will leave the service at the end of January.
How can I find out which films have been newly added to the service and which ones will soon expire?
Currently we’re sharing this information on our new @criterionchannl Twitter account and in our weekly program notes on the Current. We are working on ways to keep subscribers informed within the platform as well.
What does a Criterion Channel subscription offer that isn’t already on your DVD and Blu-ray editions?
As with our disc releases, we are working hard to make the Criterion Channel worth every penny. We will be presenting many films from third-party licensors that were never available to us for disc release. An example of this is our series on the films of Athina Rachel Tsangari, an exciting director whose work we think deserves our audience’s attention, even if we can’t release the films on Blu-ray. That series, which is now live on the service, features an original forty-eight-minute documentary encounter with Tsangari, the first in our original series Meet the Filmmakers.
Friday Night Double Features and Tuesday’s Short + Features are other programs that give us the opportunity to highlight films of note from outside the collection, and we hope that all of this, combined with the additional content we are producing exclusively for the channel—master classes, film-school micro-classes, celebrity guest programming—will make the new service a worthy addition to any Criterion viewer’s portfolio of options.