If you were planning on watching a Transformers movie or one of the Hunger Games films on Netflix, you only have until September 30th to do so. Thanks to an inability to come to an eleventh hour agreement to extend their current licensing agreement the streaming content provider and the cable network have parted ways effective at the end of next month. But if you don’t manage to catch up with the film before it disappears from Netflix, you will be able to over at Hulu.
Netflix confirmed the end of their deal with Epix via a blog post from the company’s Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos.
[W]e have decided not to renew our agreement in the US with Epix, the cable network, which means that some high profile movies including Hunger Games: Catching Fire, World War Z and Transformers: Age of Extinction, will expire at the end of September in the US. If you want to see them on Netflix US, now is the time.
Sarandos does not list all of the films that would be effected by the move, which suggests that there may be more than just these few high profile titles in the package.Given that the Epix channel is a joint venture between Paramount, MGM, and Lionsgate, it would be fare to guess that most films from those studios will be going away. Sarandos does, however, go on to hype the streaming service’s upcoming original content as well as their recent deal where they will be the exclusive US pay TV source for all things Disney, including the PIXAR, Lucasfilm and Marvel catalogs.
Deadline, meanwhile, broke the news that the Epix library was moving to Hulu in a non-exlusive, quoting the company’s Senior Vice President, Head of Content, Craig Erwich –
Through this new deal with Epix, we are proud to now be able to offer a huge selection of the biggest blockbusters and premium films. This is a landmark deal for Hulu and it marks a huge expansion for our offering of premium programming.
Previously, Hulu’s biggest strength has been in providing episodes of numerous television series the day after they air on network and cable outlets. While they have not been as successful in the original content department as Netflix has been, this deal, along with their recent alliance with Showtime, give some added heft to what they are able to provide to their subscribers.
The split represents the ongoing tension between content providers like Epix and distributors like Netflix. One wants to have their material available through the widest number of venues, making the most deals to maximize their product’s earning potential. The other, however, wants exclusive rights to as much material as possible, making them the most attractive choice for consumers. The roots of this split can probably be traced back to 2012 when Epix signed non-exclusive deals with Amazon Prime Instant Video, AT&T’s U-Verse and Dish’s Sling TV. Sarandos’ emphasis on the original content that Netflix will be bringing out over the next several months confirms that the direction that the company is interested in moving towards.
Granted this shifting of libraries from one service to another can often be a frustrating one for the consumer to have to deal with, especially when they are not inclined to pay attention to the business side of things. It can be very irritating to find a movie one had in one’s queue disappearing seemingly without explanation. This uncertainty may be a factor for actual physical media never quite disappearing. A favorite film may be hard to track down as it moves from one online source to another, but that disc will always be on your shelf.