In a major play to unseat the powerhouse Netflix from the legal streaming movie market, Hulu has gained the rights to stream the Criterion Collection films.
Criterion Collection announced on Tuesday that they will cease to be a partner with Netflix’s instant streaming feature, instead starting a partnership with their competitor Hulu Plus. While the DVDs and Blu-Rays will still be available on Netflix, you won’t be able to watch the movie on your devices whenever you want. Most of the streaming titles will be off Netflix’s list by the end of the summer. (More on Time.com: MPAA Sues Hotfile.com For Promoting Internet Piracy)
“Hulu is dedicated to giving users the best most easily accessible Criterion streaming experience possible,” a Criteron Collection spokesperson tells Techland by email. “From creating a Criterion-specific space on the site, to making searching for titles a snap, Hulu is right in line with Criterion’s mission of making classic and contemporary films available to those interested in discovering or rediscovering them. An experience like the one Hulu has created for Criterion is not possible on Netflix. Criterion remains dedicated to creating beautiful Blu-ray and DVD editions of its films, and the folks there are as busy as ever on that front. The partnership with Hulu just gives film lovers another option. And Criterion believes it is the best option when it comes to viewing Criterion titles online.”
On their official Facebook page, Criterion said that Hulu was much more dedicated to promoting the Criterion brand and offered them a section of their website dedicated to the high quality versions of classic and foreign titles, while citing examples like how “Criterion” isn’t even a searchable term on Netflix. For film buffs, this automatically makes a subscription to Hulu Plus a lot more appealing. A lot of the Criterion Collection films are hard to find, and the copies that are available are often in very poor quality compared to the Collection’s offerings. (More on Time.com: Online Movie Downloads: Cost More Than $3? Expect More Pirating)
For a list of the first 150 movies to be offered on Hulu Plus, see the next page.