Would you pay $10 a month to rewatch Gilligan’s Island? Warner Bros. thinks some people will, and launched a video service to do so.

warner archive instant

Warner Bros. opened up its Warner Archive Instant service to the public this week, giving fans of vintage titles of the studio unlimited streaming access to movies and TV shows for $10 a month (hat tip to Engadget). It’s an interesting experiment, but the offering in its current form will appeal only to a few hardcore fans: to the casual viewer, Warner Archive Instant feels like a B-movie version Netflix, without any of the new stuff.

Movies currently available for streaming include titles like the Mummy (the 1959 version), Tarzan and the Mermaids and Cat People. TV shows offered include 77 Sunset Strip, Gilligan’s Island and the Adventures of Superman from 1952.

One should mention that this isn’t a big gamble by Warner Bros. on online distribution, but just another way for the studio’s archive operations to get its titles out. And there certainly is a community for this kind of stuff, which previously was mostly available on DVD. Still, one has to wonder whether there could be a bigger audience for these titles on existing subscription services, and whether reinventing Netflix with such a small catalog and specialized is really a good idea.

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  1. Does this mean WB will pull its content from Netflix?

  2. Its not a bad idea, but their catalog is way too small. I just looked at the site and they may only have 100 movies on there.

  3. Cost of entry…. owning a roku. Netflix and hulu have the infrastructure and wider device support. WB should have either licensed to an existing service, or gone with a drm-free download service.

  4. This offer is not available in your region. Thank you for your interest.

  5. alexandertolley Tuesday, April 2, 2013

    Netflix is no great shakes in streaming either. Fewer titles than the DVD service, and almost none of the new titles.

  6. shilpa_singhal Wednesday, April 3, 2013

    It’s not that bad idea, WB has nothing to loose with this. So giving it a shot wont cause much harm. However the process for profit would be much slow.

  7. It would be nice if the thumbnails of the movies actually showed up. #fail

  8. birminghamforsale Friday, April 5, 2013

    I’d subscribe for a reasonable price. $10/month is not reasonable. The big studios still don’t get it. Disney wants $1.99 per episode for its cartoons. So does WB. Yet, I can get everything in Netflix for $8/month. I can get a huge amount of “free” content through Amazon Prime for $79/year. Consumers are willing to pay for content, but not as much as Disney and WB are asking. Disney needs to offer a subscription plan for its catalog of content at, say, $5/mo. Same for WB. I’d wager that this is still a lot more than they get out of their cable/satellite contracts. Greed, greed, greed.

  9. They aren’t trying to reinvent Netflix, WB has launched a niche OTT service on Roku. There are dozen of such services on Roku. It’s almost a different market than Netflix or Redbox Instant or Hulu. I think the biggest problem with Warner Archive Instant is the price. Most niche services online are offered ad-supported or between $4-7 bucks. $10 is a bit steep, in my opinion.

  10. Not only that, I saw NO TV series that was not acient. Alice, for one, is not there and any other 1970’s goodies. I would get it if it had goodies like that show.

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