FilmStruck broadens customer reach with Apple TV agreement

FilmStruck will feature classic movie collections including several Akira Kurosawa films. Image: FilmStruck
Image: FilmStruck

FilmStruck, a streaming movie service focused on appealing to film aficionados, is broadening its reach by making its service available on the Apple TV platform.

Users can access the FilmStruck service in the Apple App store, as well as online at www.FilmStruck.com and via Google Play for Android users. 

Customers that subscribe to FilmStruck get access to a large library of contemporary and classic arthouse, indie, foreign and cult films. Additionally, the platform is also the exclusive streaming home to the Criterion Collection.

Jennifer Dorian, general manager for Turner Classic Movies and FilmStruck, told FierceOnlineVideo that what drove the company to offer this service was a demand from its users to get access to hard to find movies in an online format.

“We were observing that the art house segment was underserved and that a lot of fans can’t find hard to find films in the independent and the foreign genres so we wanted to create a destination to curate and present independent, art house, and foreign films for people who are underserved,” Dorian said. “It’s the really the promise of the internet where like-minded people can come together and find what they’re looking for.”

But this is not just another me too streaming film service.

Dorian said what sets FilmStruck apart from other streaming services is that it aggregates films according to subject matter while offering various other features like filmmaker commentary.

FilmStruck offers 26 films of Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, which includes a short documentary about his career, for example.

Being able to offer the platform on various end-user devices will enable FilmStruck to appeal to a broader set of users that are increasingly turning to online platforms to view movies.

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Turner plans to add FilmStruck access for Roku devices and Google Chromecast in early 2017, followed by Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft's Xbox One at a later date.

“Offering the service on Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV is important because these are movies and you want to see it on the big screen,” Dorian said. “That’s an important part of engaging with the service and retention.”

As a platform that was created and managed by Turner Classic Movies (TCM) in collaboration with the Criterion Collection, FilmStruck offers three different pricing subscription tiers:

  1. FilmStruck Subscription: For $6.99 a month, users can get hundreds of constantly refreshed, hard-to-find and critically acclaimed films, plus exclusive bonus content including hosted introductions, originally produced pieces, interviews and rare footage.
  2. FilmStruck + The Criterion Channel Subscription: At $10.99/month, this option offers offering everything in the FilmStruck subscription plus unlimited access to Criterion’s entire streaming library of films and special features, along with channel-exclusive original programming such as filmmaker profiles, master classes and a curated series by guests from the film world.
  3. Annual Subscription: Customers can pay $99 for a year of access to FilmStruck and The Criterion Channel. Turner said this option provides a $30 annual savings.

Dorian said that the Premier package is gaining a lot of customer interest.

“We’ve been really surprised, but the premium tier has been more popular,” Dorian said. “We’ve been only open for 30-plus days, but our first wave of adopters are signing up for the premium service.”

FilmStruck is Turner’s first domestic direct-to-consumer offering that the company launched in November 2016.

This article was updated on Dec. 8 with additional information from Turner.