Premium cable network Starz pulled its movies from Netflix streaming as of Thursday at midnight.
For Netflix customers, this means no more Toy Story 3, no more Tron, no more Billy Madison and no more access to about 1,000 other movies that were previously in the “Starz Play” section of the Netflix site.
Starz announced in September 2011 that it would be ending a relationship with Netflix that began in late 2008. The companies’ agreement expired Tuesday.
“This decision is a result of our strategy to protect the premium nature of our brand by preserving the appropriate pricing and packaging of our exclusive and highly valuable content,” Starz said last September.
As the New York Times points out, the loss of Starz movies doesn’t necessarily mean Netflix is doomed. Movies from Starz account for just 2% of all viewing, Netflix told the Times, down from 8% a year ago.
While preparing for its film offerings to dwindle, Netflix has beefed up its television offerings. The company has made plans to add, for instance, original episodes of Arrested Development. The Disney-ABC Television Group extended and expanded its relationship with the platform in November 2011.
The company has also started making original television series, the first of which debuted last month.
Netflix is not only facing competition from sites that stream movie content — such as YouTube, Amazon and Dish Network — but also those that stream TV programming.
TV streaming site Hulu, which is jointly owned by NBC Universal, News Corporation and The Walt Disney Company, has also started to create original content. Its CEO, Jason Kilar, recently noted that the company will invest $500 million in content this year.
Will you be sticking with Netflix now that its Starz movies are gone? If not, which service will you use? Let us know in the comments.
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