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WarnerMedia plans Criterion streaming service after axing FilmStruck

The Criterion Channel, coming early next year, "will be picking up where FilmStruck left off," AT&T's WarnerMedia says.

AUDIENCE IN MOVIE THEATER, 1935
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You can breathe easier, film fanatics: AT&T's WarnerMedia may be killing off its classic-movie streaming service FilmStruck, but it's resuscitating the same idea under a different banner. 

WarnerMedia and the Criterion Collection on Friday said they would be launching a streaming service, the Criterion Channel, next spring that "will be picking up where FilmStruck left off." It's expected to cost $10.99 a month after a period that gives early subscribers a dollar discount. 

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It comes less than a month after WarnerMedia raised the hackles of cinephiles, with FilmStruck warning it would be shut down in late November. The impending shutdown sparked a wave of press debating the future of classic film in a future world of streamed video.

The FilmStruck streaming service, launched in 2016 by WarnerMedia's Turner, specialized in classic movies, including those from the Criterion Collection, from the Turner Classic Movies network and from Warner Bros library of classic flicks. 

The companies said Friday that Criterion and WarnerMedia's library of films will be part of WarnerMedia's planned streaming service expected to launch in late 2019.  Criterion is encouraging people to sign up early for a "charter subscription" that includes a free 30-day trial and a reduced rate at $9.99 per month. The standard rate is planned to be $10.99 for regular subscribers.

WarnerMedia, comprised of HBO, Turner and Warner Bros, became a subsidiary of AT&T after the phone company's acquisition of Time Warner in June

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