Miramax and Hulu have signed a multiyear deal that will see some of the studio's top films come to the streaming-video service.
Starting today, Hulu Plus subscribers will have access to hundreds of ad-free Miramax films. Many of the titles will be available in HD, the company said, while the remaining titles will be available to users in standard definition. In addition, those who access the free Hulu will find a selection of 15 Miramax films to choose from. Those films, which will be rotated each month, will be ad-supported, the companies said.
Adding Miramax content to Hulu is a big win for the streaming provider. The studio has a slew of popular titles, including "Pulp Fiction," "Good Will Hunting," "The English Patient," and others that should help to bolster Hulu's current roster of available films.
But for Hulu Plus users, the lack of ads in Miramax films could be one of the best points in today's announcement. Though they need to pay $8 a month for access to Hulu Plus, an enhanced version of the free option available on the Hulu Web site, users are still forced to sit through advertisements. In some cases, a single hour-long television show could include a half-dozen ads. Films can have several ads, as well. It's a policy that Hulu has been criticized for, since its top competitor, Netflix, doesn't use ads to supplement content revenue.
Speaking of Netflix, Miramax's deal with Hulu is the second major agreement the studio has inked in the last few weeks. In May, Miramax announced that it would be bringing "several hundred" films to Netflix this month, including the aforementioned titles. The move was part of what Miramax said is a wider digital strategy.
"From day one, we've been very clear about the importance of digital and our desire to respond to the significant pent-up demand for our films--delivering to consumers whenever and wherever they want," Miramax CEO Mike Lang said in a statement accompanying the Netflix deal announcement. "This agreement is an important first step in our digital strategy."
Where will Miramax go next? Back in March, The Wall Street Journal reported that the studio was in talks with Amazon and Facebook to bring its film library to those services. So far, Miramax has not inked a deal with either company.