Criterion streaming channel to launch April 8th 2019

Do you meet the criterion?

by Andy Bassett Jan 31, 2019 at 12:54 PM


  • With the big guns drawing a bead on the streaming market, how will a relatively small player like Criterion hit the target?
    Criterion have announced that their forthcoming streaming service, dubbed The Criterion Channel, will launch on April 8th 2019 and subscriptions are now being taken with early uptakers, called ‘Charter’ subscribers, getting a discount. This would seemingly beat Apple to the punch as the Cupertino company gave a recent call to arms for its content partners to be ready for a mid-April 2019 launch, thus allowing a short window for Criterion to get its subscriber numbers up.

    The platform will rely on Criterion’s library of classic films in addition to a selection of “Hollywood, international, art-house, and independent films which will be constantly refreshed”.

    The channel plans to include its own programming with presentations based around directors, stars, genres, and themes along with a selection of short films, though no there’s no mention of original content being commissioned.

    Early subscribers will have immediate access to a weekly film prior to the official launch, with the rest of the programming coming online in April on a variety of devices, including desktop, iOS, Android, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku.

    So what will those subscriptions set you back? Well, early bird Charter Subscribers benefit from a discounted rate of of $9.99 a month / $89.99 a year for signing up before April 8th. After that prices will be $10.99 a month or $99.99 a year.

    The company previously made its library of classic art-house and international films available through streaming partners — first Hulu, then FilmStruck. However, with the recent demise of FilmStruck, Criterion announced that it would provide streaming content via its own service and also through the yet-to-launch WarnerMedia service.

    The Criterion Channel will be available in the United States and Canada, and should work on desktop, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, iOS and Android devices. There's no word about a European rollout yet.

    Will the 'classic/art-house film' approach of Criterion be different enough to get your attention? Or is it a service for hardcore film buffs only? Let us know in the discussion thread.


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