Fandor, long a destination for film fans to stream recent arthouse favorites and classic cinematic offerings, suffered a huge blow this week, as most staff members were relieved of their duties.
Variety reports that employees were informed that a plan to keep the company afloat through its planned January 2019 relaunch had failed, leading to the immediate staff-cutting decision. Fandor’s assets are now under the control of an unknown group, which has allowed the site to function despite its now small group of temporary employees.
The Fandor service had been available on third-party platforms like Amazon and Sling, with subscribers gaining access to its evolving catalogue at a regular rate of $5.99 per month. Last spring, Fandor closed its online magazine Keyframe, which for five years had served as a home for original writing and video content to supplement the site’s library of films.
“The original idea was to produce editorial content to draw people to the site and watch movies on Fandor, building a community and culture around film,” popular video essayist Kevin Lee told IndieWire at the time. “Then they wanted to figure out how to make things more viral — but the films that are on Fandor are typically not viral conducive.”
Fandor joins a growing list of original and library-based content providers that have shuttered in the past two months alone. Despite desperate pleas to keep it up and running, the beloved FilmStruck platform ceased operations last week after steps taken by parent company WarnerMedia. SuperDeluxe, a division of Turner Broadcasting’s digital efforts, was also shut down amidst similar WarnerMedia restructuring efforts.
Films from the Criterion Collection, which had previously been available on both Fandor and FilmStruck, are planned to appear on the forthcoming Criterion Channel, which is expected to launch in spring 2019.