The Demise of FilmStruck Is Part of a Bigger Pattern

David Sims at The Atlantic:

Swedish actress Bibi Andersson and Norwegian actress Liv Ullmann on the set of Persona, written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. (Photo by Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

Turner and Warner Bros. Digital Networks’ statement on the closing of FilmStruck struck a similarly corporate tone: “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.”

Those “key learnings” remain uncertain. Some, or all, of the WarnerMedia archives will likely be included in whatever new service they put together. But that project is at least a year from fruition, and it’ll lack the curation that made FilmStruck so special to subscribers trying to make a dent in its voluminous catalog. That kind of care and attention will be difficult to replicate on a larger scale. As companies work to assemble their respective streaming behemoths, FilmStruck will in retrospect feel like little more than a blip, a more specialized media moment between two eras ruled by giant networks.

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