How Much Will It Cost to Subscribe to the New Criterion Channel?

Film buffs just got an early Christmas present. The Criterion Collection has revealed it’s launching a new streaming service, The Criterion Channel, in spring 2019.

The news comes less than a month after the announcement that Filmstruck, the streaming subscription channel currently home to Criterion’s movie library, would shut down on November 29. While admitting that the channel had “a very loyal fanbase,” Turner, which owns Filmstruck, called it a “niche” service.

Cinephiles were devastated by the news that they’d lose access to Filmstruck’s library of classic and independent films, many of which couldn’t be found on other streaming services. More than 55,000 people signed a petition to save the service, including director Guillermo del Toro. Now, it seems their efforts may have worked.

What to expect from the Criterion Channel

So far, the new Criterion Channel sounds like it will be a lot like Filmstruck. In an announcement, Criterion said the new service “will be picking up where the old service left off.” Subscribers can expect to see “major Hollywood and international classics and hard-to-find discoveries from around the world.” Series like Art-House America, Split Screen, and Meet the Filmmakers will also continue, as will the Friday Night Double Feature and Observations on Film Art.

Though we don’t know yet which movies will be available to stream, Criterion films recently available on Filmstruck included François Truffaut’s Day for Night, Wong Kar-Wai’s In the Mood for Love, David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers, Wim Wenders’s Paris, Texas, Robert Altman’s McCabe & Mrs. Miller, and Merian C. Cooper’s King Kong

In addition to the new channel, the Criterion Collection’s library of films will be part of WarnerMedia’s new direct-to-consumer platform that will launch sometime in the fourth quarter of 2019.

How much the Criterion Channel will cost

While the new channel won’t launch until next spring, Criterion is already urging film fans to sign up to be a charter subscriber.

As a charter subscriber, you’ll get a 30-day free trial of the new service. After that, you’ll pay $9.99 a month. Charter subscribers can also pay for an entire year of service for $89.99. For those who wait, the regular fee will be $10.99 per month, while the annual fee will be $100.

Filmstruck subscribers who sign up right away will save some money with the new channel. The premium version of that now-defunct service cost $10.99 a month or $100 a year.

In addition to streaming, charter subscribers will get concierge service from the Criterion Collection, including a special email address. Other perks include a holiday gift certificate to use on the Criterion Collection website, as well as a membership card. They’ll also get “the satisfaction of know you’re keeping the best of film alive and available.”

“We will be starting from scratch, with no subscribers, so we will need all the help we can get,” noted Criterion in its announcement. “We need everyone who was a FilmStruck subscriber or who’s been tweeting and signing petitions and writing letters to come out and to sign up for the new service. We can’t do it without you!”

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