Tribeca Enterprises and Lionsgate recently joined the streaming fray with the launch of Tribeca Short List, a curated site for film lovers everywhere who are finding it increasingly difficult to find good films to watch.
“We’re taking a more human approach to movie discovery for viewers who want to escape the search spiral and find a great movie fast,” said Jeff Bronikowski, President of Tribeca Short List, in a press release. “We’ve found great movies that we’re offering to subscribers as part of a high quality, highly curated movie catalog with exclusive “Shortlist” content that provides context and personal insight, like getting a recommendation from a trusted friend.” (Tubefilter)
While Netflix caters to mass audiences and hopes to please everyone by offering a huge selection of movies in a wide array of categories, Tribeca Short List caters to an audience of discerning film lovers by providing a much smaller selection of high quality, previously released films recommended by actors, directors, producers, and other industry insiders.
” … disrupts the ‘more-is-more’ model in today’s streaming on-demand landscape … Tribeca Short List aims to be a service where you can see films you never got to watch, forgot to watch, and want to watch.” (Jane Rosenthal, CEO of Tribeca Enterprises,Tribecafilm.com)
The ‘less is more’ service provides just 150 films at any one time (culled from the libraries of Lionsgate, Magnolia Pictures, MGM, Miramax, Sony, and others), but rotates 50 films in and out each month, with weekly refreshes. Currently available on the web and iPads, FireTV (Nov), Roku & iPhones (Dec), Apple TV and Android (2016) will soon be added to the list. Site users can search for films by way of Shortlists (film recommendations by industry insiders) or Movies (films listed by genre or alphabetical by title).
Three film recommendations by thirteen different industry professionals are currently available in the Shortlists section of the site. The original cast of shortlisters talking about their favorites includes the likes of Yaya DaCosta (model and actress), Lisa Donovan (Maker Studios co-founder), Bob Harper (health and fitness expert), John Leguizamo (performer) and Morgan Spurlock (director). As you can imagine, the range of tastes makes for a nicely eclectic menu of recommendations.
“It’s like a dinner party – you have artists, musicians, filmmakers, athletes – all these people getting together to talk about movies,” said Bronikowski.” (Variety.com)
The Movies section of the site lists films that are available for viewing (mostly indie fare) in sixteen different genres, ranging at launch from award-winning classics, such as ANNIE HALL, EASY RIDER, and LAWRENCE OF ARABIA to documentaries, such as DARK DAYS, THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE, and WILLIAM BURROUGHS: A MAN WITHIN, and international films, such as AMELIE, MANON OF THE SPRING, and THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY.
While an introductory subscription fee of $4.99/month (increasing to $5.99/month in 2016) sounds quite reasonable, it remains to be seen how many people will actually sign up. As audiences are increasingly going to theaters less and cutting the cord more, a plethora of content providers are hedging their bets by dipping their toes into the online film streaming pool.
In addition to the older video services like Netflix (from $7.99/month), Amazon ($8.25/month), and Hulu ($7.99/month), YouTube recently announced the upcoming launch of its subscription service, YouTube Red ($9.99/month), which will give YouTubers the option of ad-free viewing and also provide access to YouTube Music and original programming. Network and cable operators, including CBS ($5.99/month), HBO ($4.99/month), and Showtime ($10.99/month), have already launched subscription services of their own and Disney ($15.43/month) recently announced plans for a subscription streaming service in the UK. More are sure to follow.
The move to digital distribution is incredibly promising for film audiences everywhere, giving them more choice, context and convenience than ever. One has to wonder, however, how things will shape up (or shake out) in the future. It will be interesting to see just how many individual subscription services audiences will ultimately be willing, or able, to bear.