The Weinstein Company Strikes New Deal with Netflix

Today, The Weinstein Company has announced (via press release) that they have struck a new deal with Netflix that will bring even more premium content to the company’s streaming service.  The kicker is the fact that they will forgo their typical pay cable deals (with companies like HBO, Showtime, Starz, Encore, etc) in favor of releasing the films on Netflix.

From the release:

“Netflix Inc. and The Weinstein Company (TWC) today announced a new multi-year licensing agreement that will make foreign language, documentary and certain other movies from The Weinstein Company exclusively available for Netflix members in the U.S. to watch instantly.”

Titles like The Artist, Coriolanus, and W.E. will go straight to Netflix, where The Weinstein Company‘s research shows their core audience is, over the premium cable channels.  It’s entirely believable, especially with the rising costs of cable TV, and the individual charges for each channel package.  More people are dropping their premium cable packages in favor of watching their content on DVD and Blu-Ray for the shows they really like.

With some cable packages costing as much as $11 for a single set of channels, it’s understandable that more people would rather pay the $8 for Netflix that has a broader swath of content, and wider availability, due to the fact that not all movies on  HBO and Showtime are available on demand, making it less convenient.  The biggest reason most subscribers stay these days is original content, which can often be found 3-6 months after its debut on DVD and Blu-Ray, as well as iTunes.

It’s promising to see a bigger company taking this route, showing a real sea change in the way people are getting their content these days.  I’m sure it’s also putting a scare in premium cable channels, who are probably thinking of ways to lower their costs to be more competitive.

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