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Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting unit said Friday that Turner International’s Digital Ventures & Innovation group and Warner Bros. Digital Networks have struck a joint venture to launch subscription movie streaming service FilmStruck in international markets.
The international expansion of Turner’s FilmStruck, which it had unveiled in the U.S. in April 2016 and launched in November of that year, will make it Turner International’s first SVOD service in the general entertainment space. It already offers two other international SVOD brands, EI Plus in Brazil and the recently launched Nordic brand Toonix, which provide sports and kids/family content, respectively. Time Warner units have been developing SVOD offers as entertainment companies worldwide are looking to roll out direct-to-consumer services.
The FilmStruck service will draw primarily on the Warner Bros. and Criterion Collection libraries, as well as other global and local content partners.
FilmStruck’s launch in the international marketplace will “leverage the strength of assets at both companies, bringing together a broad and diverse movie catalog as well as long-standing expertise in programming and curation,” the partners said.
“FilmStruck will offer film lovers a broad collection of high-quality and critically acclaimed movies across many categories – mainstream, cult, independent, classics, art house, foreign and documentary film,” they said. “The eclectic but highly accessible content will also feature curated themes, exclusive bonus material including cast interviews, Criterion original mini-documentaries and hosted introductions, and original artwork. The collection will be regularly refreshed, providing movie fans with a trusted source of quality films and a simple and engaging way to discover content.”
The U.K., where the service will be branded “FilmStruck Curzon,” is the joint venture’s initial launch market in what is planned as a multi-market rollout over the next two years.
The U.K. service will launch in partnership with cinema brand Curzon and feature an offering within the service curated in collaboration with and branded by Curzon, as well as including access to titles from the Curzon Artificial Eye film library. “The agreement with Curzon also includes opportunities to leverage its established market position, experience, consumer base and cinema operations and to launch additional Curzon-branded cinema services in other markets,” the companies said.
“We’re thrilled to take this significant step together as a joint venture with Warner Bros. Digital Networks, after many years of growing collaboration across various other projects with Warner Bros. as a whole,” said Aksel van der Wal, executive vp DV&I at Turner. “FilmStruck helps us realize a shared vision for what we see as a clear gap in the market for film lovers around the world. We’re also delighted to be working with a partner of Curzon’s heritage and prestige.”
“International film fans now have a new home for a wide and diverse range of movies including some of Warner Bros.’ most iconic titles,” said Craig Hunegs, president, business and strategy, Warner Bros. Television Group and president, Warner Bros. Digital Networks. “It’s Warner’s and Turner’s heritage to bring the best films to audiences, and Warner Bros. Digital Networks is very excited to partner with Aksel and the Turner team to do this in an even more direct and compelling way.”
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