CINE-DEBATE: Criterion Partners With Hulu Plus, No More Netflix?

This morning, some news went public that at first might seem like no big deal—unless you dig into it a touch deeper.

The Criterion Collection‘s Peter Becker just announced a new partnership with Hulu Plus to make the Criterion catalog immediately available for streaming at http://www.hulu.com/criterion. And over at Hulu, their SVP of Audience Eugene Wei weighed in as well. At the moment, 150 or so films are ours for the taking, but it sounds like Criterion is making a solid push to up that number dramatically sooner than later. Even better: they are determined to make their yummy supplements available too.

Nothing crazy there, right? Well, not exactly. Though Becker doesn’t mention it in his release, instead choosing to focus his positive attention on the new partnership at hand, something ought to catch your eye if you go to Hulu’s Criterion page, in which they describe the union as such:

The Complete Criterion Collection only on Hulu Plus.

Notice that word in the middle there: ONLY. Which can *only* mean one thing: Criterion is no longer making their content available through Netflix Streaming?

If this is, in fact, the case, I personally think this is a very big deal. I’ve been guilty of bowing down to Netflix at every opportunity, assuming that they are untouchable gods who have been able to consistently dictate the terms of how the home video streaming business should operate. And while I don’t know the reasons for Criterion’s split with Netflix Streaming—perhaps Hulu Plus’s financial offer was too good to pass up, perhaps Netflix wasn’t presenting statistics and offering reimbursement based on individual streams, perhaps (insert a perhaps more intelligent idea here, dear reader)—the mere fact that customers will no longer be able to stream Criterion titles on Netflix puts a somewhat glaring chink in Netflix’s armor. At least to this uninformed consumer.

Up to this point, Hulu has been a major force in the realm of original television content. As I personally don’t keep up with TV shows on a consistent basis, I honestly haven’t found myself visiting Hulu very often. But I mean it when I say that if the above is true, I might actually consider giving Hulu Plus a try. I have a Roku box, which is how I do my Netflix Streaming, and Hulu Plus is on there as well. For a 7/8 dollar monthly subscription, it just might be a worthwhile thing to consider. Though at this stage, I can’t see myself ever canceling my Netflix subscription.

What do you guys think? As this as big of a deal as it seems to me? Can anyone shed any actual factual statistical light on the situation? That might help all of us to better process this unexpected turn of events.

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23 Responses to “CINE-DEBATE: Criterion Partners With Hulu Plus, No More Netflix?”

  1. Teru Kei Says:

    I don’t have a membership to either because I’ve been disappointed with their streaming content. If they’re really going to have ALL of Criterion’s releases I’ll definitely join Hulu Plus before Netflix.

  2. Mellow2004 Says:

    Wow, this means pick one or the other, or pay more for both.

    Sounds to me like HULU is trying to make a move into the film streaming market, and this is their way of “getting the feet wet” while Criterion is looking to expand its presence to new viewers.

    This might be the start of a NETFLIX vs. HULU front! Especially, if these companies are lookin for exclusive content, which is what HULU seems to be doing with Criterion.

    I wonder if this move will have traction – lots of loyal NETFLIX customers out there…

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I think this sucks. I have Netflix and a Roku box and am not interested in paying for another service. So yes, this is a big deal to me.

  4. Todd Holmes Says:

    Since Criterion has said nothing about ending their partnership with Netflix, I’d speculate that the sentence you’re highlighting might really be saying “The Complete Criterion Collection is only on Hulu Plus, not on regular Hulu”.

  5. JeffCulbertson Says:

    You could focus on ONLY, or PLUS, or COMPLETE, and take a different meaning from each. I’m not sure there’s enough info to really gauge how big a deal this is. Yet.

  6. MichaelTully Says:

    I’d say Becker’s statement that it’s a “major exclusive new offering on Hulu” means that all Criterion streaming is exclusive to Hulu, not just the “complete collection.”

  7. Mellow2004 Says:

    It’s exclusive: Netflix deal runs out this summer.

    http://mediamemo.allthingsd.com/20110215/hulu-plus-gets-an-art-house-upgrade-with-criterion-collection/

    dave

  8. adamhump Says:

    does anyone have hulu plus? will there be ads for toothpaste spaced throughout “L’Eclisse”?

  9. adamhump Says:

    does anyone have hulu plus? will there be ads for toothpaste spaced throughout “L’Eclisse”?

  10. Sam Adams Says:

    Could it mean that only Hulu will have the *complete* CritCo, but Netflix will retain some titles? NF’s availaibility has always waxed and waned.

  11. MichaelTully Says:

    As Dave said below, this deal is gonna be exclusive. In a few months/summer, no more Criterion available on Netflix Streaming.

  12. Jatarious Sands Says:

    I have hulu plus and the only ad on the criterion collection films are the this is is brought to you by blah ones after that one ad there none

  13. Mynette Louie Says:

    The more content outlets buying (and competing for) content, the better for us content makers/sellers. The price for both Hulu Plus & Netflix is $16 per month: SIXTEEN DOLLARS. That’s less than the cost of 2 movie theater tickets and it’s less than each of your cell phone bill, ISP bill, cable bill, sponsor-a-child bill, (you fill in the) bill… Content doesn’t grow on trees: *people* make it. For unlimited access to all of the many films on the 2 services, $192 per year (TOTAL, for BOTH) is pretty darn cheap.

  14. Jatarious Sands Says:

    this is from their facebook page (Second, our relationship with Netflix:

    We love Netflix, and they are still one of Criterion’s most important partners, but Hulu demonstrated a real commitment to the Criterion brand that persuaded us they would be the better home base for our streaming efforts. It has never been easy to find Criterion movies on Netflix — “Criterion” is not even a searchable term there. Compare that with Hulu’s willingness to develop a whole area of their site around us, brand the films associated with us, and develop the capability to show many of our supplements alongside our films. The energetic, independent, creative team at Hulu was willing to build their business around us in a way that just wasn’t in the cards anywhere else.

    We chose to make a deal with Hulu because we feel the Criterion brand will in the long run be better represented there. As we put up more films and and our supplements too – which have to be made available with the films – we felt that the treatment of the brand and flexibility within Hulu and Hulu Plus would enable us to provide a better user experience at the end of the day. We will continue to support Netflix on the package goods side and continue to work with them to provide Blu-ray and DVD copies of the films we release, but all of the films that are currently on Netflix streaming will be down by the end of the year. In case you’re curious, we’re as committed as ever to the physical goods side of our releases and will publish more DVDs and BDs this year than ever before.) So yes they will no longer be on netflix streaming

  15. MichaelTully Says:

    What a GREAT perspective to take about this, Mynette. Thank you!

  16. Spiritus Vult Says:

    I agree. If you’re right about this, t=he loss of Kurosawa films alone make me reconsider Netfilx.

  17. benr Says:

    I gave up on Hulu on Roku after just a few days. If I’m paying to stream material – even the relatively low monthly fee – I’m not willing to sit through truly irritating advertising before everything I watch.

  18. Razcunningham Says:

    Well it seems digital is still pretty up in the air, but DVD and Blu Ray are somewhat still “predictable” with Netflix.

  19. Nicholas Kemp Says:

    I’m not sure if it’s a promotional rate but the Hulu Plus site seems to be advertising membership as $7.99/mo, not $9.99/mo as suggested here. Not actually a huge difference but 8 somehow feels a lot less than 10.

    One giant upside is that Hulu Plus claims that its entire collection will be available in HD (720p). I’ve always thought Netflix Instant looks kind of crappy, especially when played on a large TV via Roku, Xbox, etc.

  20. coldmilk Says:

    Netflix doesn’t and will not have the “complete” Criterion collection but currently they have a handful of Criterion titles up for streaming. I think what they mean is that Hulu will have the entire library of films under the Criterion brand whereas Netflix will always have just a hundred or so.

  21. Teru Kei Says:

    At $35 or so a pop for Criterion DVD’s I was pretty happy to start subscribing to this. Once the supplemental material comes out it will be hard to leave the house!

  22. Buy Essays Says:

    Amazing stuff

  23. Term Paper in MLA Says:

    great stuff

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