AOL has officially entered the movie distribution business.
The internet media giant has entered into an agreement with Miramax to deliver a small selection of their library to viewers in the U.S. The deal will allow users of AOL On, which is already the largest premium video platform on the web with over 1Bn streams per month, to stream a selection of Miramax’s films for free, with advertising.
The agreement marks the launch of a new ‘Movies’ section of AOL On, which traditionally hosted both original and curated short-form video and news clips.
Miramax’s library include well over 700 movies, from iconic films like “Pulp Fiction,” “Chicago,” “Good Will Hunting,” and “Trainspotting” to popular comedies like “Bridget Jones’ Diary” and the “Scary Movie” franchise.
Under the agreement, AOL can stream at least ten of a selection of Miramax’s library at any given time.
This is a big win for AOL, but it’s by no means exclusive. Miramax has recently entered into licensing agreements with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and many more. Although AOL is the only service that is expected to provide streams to users for free, supported by advertising instead of a subscription.
Miramax Films is a production and distribution company founded by Bob & Harvey Weinstein in 1979. The paid sold the compnay to Disney in 2005, who would later sell it on to a private investment group led by Colony Capital and Qatar Investment Holdings.
AOL is the third largest U.S. based internet video distributor after YouTube and Facebook. As of September 2013, they also operate the largest premium video advertising network in the U.S., serving 3.72 billion video ads that month, beating Google, which served 3.24 billion ads.