Reaction is mixed to news that Hulu and Criterion Collection have announced an exclusive new content partnership that will bring more than 800 titles to the Hulu Plus subscription service, including works from such auteurs as Ingmar Bergman, Charlie Chaplin, Federico Fellini, Jean-Luc Godard, Akira Kurosawa, François Truffaut and Orson Welles.
Netflix used to offer the Criterion Collection archive. But as Netflix hands out more dollars for original content from the studios, it seems it becomes less important to hang on to the sort of classic long-tail titles that mattered to its early adopters. Criterion simply went where the money was, where they could make the best deal. Also, Netflix didn't market the Criterion brand as such; that is something Hulu is eager to do. That's a win-win for Criterion.
Hulu Plus subscribers will now have exclusive access to over 100 of the rarest and most celebrated films beginning February 15, 2011, and the library will grow to more than 800 films over the upcoming months. This rich cannon includes high-quality films that have never before been on DVD or Blu-ray, and supplemental features like audio commentaries, restored director’s cuts, deleted scenes, documentaries, and more. A selection of Criterion titles will also rotate through free ad-supported Hulu.com in curated lineups.
Trailers are here: