As streaming rights become a more central part of the film business, alliances with Netflix, the company that made streaming a workable system, continue to breakdown as the company moves toward more original content. One example: according to The Hollywood Reporter, premium cable outlet Epix will not renew its contract with Netflix. Instead, they have signed a multi-year deal with rival company Hulu, the service that began its life streaming Fox and NBC programming. As part of the deal, films from Lionsgate, MGM and Paramount will begin to appear on Hulu on October 1st.
Meanwhile, films like Star Trek: Into Darkness and Transformers: Age of Extinction will disappear from Netflix when the contract expires in the coming month.
What this means for users is an increasingly fragmented (and expensive) experience with content spread between Netflix, Hulu and Amazon‘s Prime streaming service, with other more individualized content providers sure to follow. Where once Netflix was a one-stop shop of well curated content, its film offerings are becoming increasingly … subpar as their original content take prominence.
At the same time, it shifts Hulu away from being the home of time-delayed television. The service already offers a surprising amount of films, including selections from The Criterion Collection, but the arrival of mainstream titles — along with the recent agreement to stream Showtime content — makes the service quite robust. Not unlike Netflix at one time; just with commercial interruptions.
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