In an age where Hollywood studios finally seem to be wising up to the value of streaming rights to their content, I’ve been questioning the continued viability of all-you-can-watch subscription services like Netflix. But, if the company is able to continue inking deals like the one they made today, we could all be safely watching gobs of cheap movies through their platform for the foreseeable future.
What’s this deal I speak of? Brothers Harvey and Bob’s Weinstein Company has made an agreement with the service to make a host of their recent films available for streaming on Netflix exclusively, instead of sending them to cable. That includes titles like the Madonna-directed W.E., the Shakespeare adaptation Coriolanus, and probably the crown jewel of the deal, Best Picture Nominee The Artist.
As usually happens when deals like this are made, ass-kissing by both sides commenced. Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos said, “We couldn’t be happier to be working again with Harvey and Bob, who have an unmatched track record of creating critically acclaimed and commercially successful movies.” He then added, “The Artist is a symbol of the Weinsteins’ triumphant return to the top of the film business. Through deep passion, great taste and phenomenal vision, Harvey and Bob continue to surprise audiences and make history.” You hear that? These returning heroes are making history. That Uggie was one cute dog.
Back-scratching is a two-way street though, so old Harv had some flowery quotes to toss at the press as well; though his were a little more self-aggrandizing than Sarandos’ own comments. Weinstein said, “It is a fantastic coup for Netflix to acquire The Artist and the package of additional titles. With this deal, a company that loves movies, Netflix, joins forces with a company that is built on that same love. It’s exciting that we can offer consumers a supremely convenient way to see the kinds of movies that made us want to be in this business in the first place.”
The financial and term details of this deal aren’t known, but it’s said to be a multi-year thing that will give Netflix subscribers exclusive access to many of the Weinsteins’ foreign, art, and, documentary films. As somebody who is in love with Netflix’s subscription service and also worried about how their rights negotiations with newly savvy studios are going to evolve going forward, I’d say that this deal is damn good news, and hopefully it will set an example that other companies look to emulate going forward. Visions of a world where every production company has their own $10 a month streaming service keep me awake at night. [Inside Movies]