Criterion has apparently devised a new pricing and access strategy. Until recently there were only two ways to watch Criterion titles — buy the Bluray or DVD versions or stream the films on the Criterion Channel. Or so I’ve gathered.
But today I happened to notice that the same HD Criterion-stamped Tunes of Glory is available for purchase or rental on Amazon. You can buy permanent access for $14.99, or rent a limited viewing window for 3.99.
To my knowledge new Criterion titles being buyable or rentable on Amazon only days after the street date is a new thing. I tried double-checking this with Criterion p.r. rep Courtney Ott — zip.
A new Criterion gold-standard Bluray comes out, and you’re keen to see it. Do you shell out $32 (except during Barnes and Noble sale weekends) or pay $3.99 for an HD streaming version that probably won’t look substantially different than the physical media version? Or, if you want to watch it three or four times over the next few years, do you pay $14.99?