Netflix’s plan to bring streaming to the masses seems to be proceeding swimmingly. Under their “Netflix Watch Instantly” program they’ve been streaming a selection of 17,000 films on various platforms such as the PC, Roku, and Xbox 360 for quite some time now, and they recently added PS3 functionality with the promise of moving to the Wii in the future. But they’ve also been active on the content side, signing a groundbreaking deal with Starz last year to stream thousands of high-quality films. These moves have made “Watch Instantly” more than just a flirtation with new technology; indeed, “Watch Instantly” has become an essential part of most people’s Netflix subscriptions (available to anyone with at least an $8.99/month plan).
To this list of considerable accomplishments, they’ve added the acquisition of streaming rights to 53 films from IFC Entertainment.
According to Variety, Netflix has nabbed rights to IFC indie favorites such as Errol Morris’ The Thin Blue Line and Christopher Nolan’s Following (Sayles’ Return of the Secaucus Seven and Susanne Bier’s Brothers are also supposed to be in the mix). Variety claims that these movies are to be available for streaming starting today, with more titles added as time goes on. However, when I log into Netflix, I still don’t see “Watch Instantly” options for the films described. Please let me know what your own user experience is like in the comments. Perhaps by morning this will change; if so, I’ll update this post. [Update: The movies have started showing up on Netflix Watch Instantly! Enjoy!]
For the most part, IFC Entertainment has been one of those companies whose continuing existence is a source of hope to me, demonstrating that there are still people with common sense and a love for good movies inhabiting this industry. I hope both parties are pleased with this partnership, and that it continues for the foreseeable future. Who knows? Maybe one day we’ll be able to stream The Decalogue to our Xboxes. Ahhhh, the future….