AOL is getting into the streaming movies game. According to Variety, AOL will launch an ad-supported streaming movies section next Tuesday, April 30th, initially featuring "tens of films" from Miramax, the studio behind breakout pictures including Pulp Fiction, Good Will Hunting, and There Will Be Blood, among many others. The film selection will rotate on a monthly basis, and the initial movies haven't yet been announced. It's not clear how many ads will be shown, but AOL tells Variety that it "won’t get too aggressive on monetization."
More studios are in the works
Talks have reportedly begun with other studios to bring even more films to the upcoming movies section. According to Variety, the deal with Miramax isn't exclusive though, so you'll still be able to stream its movies on Netflix, Hulu, and other services. That's likely how AOL will operate its other deals too: AOL reportedly sees ad-supported streaming movies as an untapped market, and it appears to be hoping to recreate the success that cable networks have found doing much the same thing on TV.
This isn't AOL's only big new venture into video either. Like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon before it, AOL is also stepping into original video. It's had its own short-form series in the past, but later this year, it'll debut its first long-form show, Connected — an adaptation of an Israeli documentary series that will follow the parallel stories of five New Yorkers. It's also announced a new series starring Steve Buscemi, titled Park Bench, which will have Buscemi walking around New York and talking to people on the street; it's not said, however, whether that series will be long or short form.