Saturday October 27, 2018
‘No Time to Think About It’: FilmStruck Struck by AT&T
The site this morning. Soon, gone.†
One of my few happy places over the last few months has been†FilmStruck, a movie streaming service that combines the Criterion collection and the Warner Bros. archives, among others. I'd signed up for an annual subscription in early September. (You may have noticed the jump in James Cagney reviews.)†I was looking forward to spending the winter with it.
Yesterday it was announced that the site would be shuttered on Nov. 29. Why? From Variety's article:
In a statement, Turner and WB Digital Networks said, “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.”
What’s more depressingólosing the service or having to read that language? Are these people even human? Can't they even fake it anymore? Look at that last sentence. I was going to mock it by emphasizing its more egregious parts but the whole thing is that. It says nothing. It says “We plan to make money.” There's not an iota of love for its product there.†
FilmStruck had that love. You could tell. People cared. They were kindred spirits.
You don't even know who to blame. WarnerMedia? Or its new owner AT&T? A source in Todd Spangler's Variety article says the move was planned before AT&T's recent purchase by AT&T but†“the strategy aligns with the new WarnerMedia blueprint to shift resources to mass-market entertainment services.”†
A source familiar with AT&T's strategy said the telco is looking to eliminate peripheral projects that aren't major producers of revenue. “They felt Time Warner overall had too many initiatives,” the exec said. “[AT&T] have their hands full. They have no time to think about, ‘What do we do with this growth property?’”
They have no time to think about it.†Jesus fuck.†