The Criterion Collection was launched in the 1980s as a home video distribution company. It is an American company famously known for releasing the definitive restorations of classics in world cinema. Over time it has also released current cinema.
As the company’s mission states, no matter what the medium, Criterion aims to present each film as its maker would want it seen, in state-of-the-art restorations with special features designed to encourage repeated watching and deepen the viewer’s appreciation of the art of film.
The company ramped up as time progressed, by entering the CD ROM and DVD markets, before finally venturing into video-on-demand. In 2011, it partnered with Hulu to extend this business model to subscribers on Hulu Plus.
In 2019, The Criterion Collection, became a channel, streaming its library of content directly to its users. It currently serves audiences in the USA, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
The Criterion Channel is not for people who want to watch the latest mainstream movies. It’s for those who want to explore noteworthy domestic and international films from the past and present.
What are they doing?
A lot of what The Criterion Channel does makes sense for OTT players to do.
It allows users to either subscribe on a monthly or yearly basis. The Criterion Channel is available for users on an SVOD (Subscription Video on Demand) basis for either US$ 10.99 per month or US$ 99.99 for the entire year. The 14-day free trial provided by OTT providers is also offered by The Criterion Channel.
It’s also available across devices so it can make sure it’s available to the user, wherever he/she is. The Criterion Channel can be accessed across devices (Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, iOS, and Android).
Its library is immense (2,801 at the time of writing this) and well-segmented to deliver a great user experience. Viewers can search for a title of their choice or pick it up from any of the playlists on the app/website. It also allows users to download the content and view it later.
Like Netflix and other OTT streaming apps, it also offers ‘top 10 lists’, to get people to consume content they otherwise wouldn’t have because no user wants to miss out on watching content that the world is.
One downside is that it currently serves audiences only in the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom. Having said that, it’s a relatively new streaming service, and with time we expect it to make its presence to different global markets. While the offering is available only in these countries, its library does have content from more than 50 countries worldwide.
The Criterion Channel re-emphasises the fact that there are several untapped niches within OTT. It also states the importance of traditional businesses embracing digital. If you are either (looking to create a niche OTT offering or take your traditional business to digital), we at Enveu are here to help. Get in touch with us right away and start earning the dollars!