A streaming service dedicated to post-secondary education
By Colten Kamlade, Staff Reporter
Douglas College now has access to a new video-streaming service that is available to students and staff.
Criterion-on-Demand, which offers classics, new releases, foreign films, literary adaptations, documentaries, animated titles, and independent features, has been added to the Douglas College library catalogue, according to an announcement made by the college on Twitter November 16. The Criterion Pictures website describes their mission as providing “easy access to educationally relevant feature films used in Canadian Higher Education Institutions.”
Despite the similarity of the name, Criterion-on-Demand has no connection to the famed Criterion Collection.
Christian Guillou, a media and electronic resources librarian at Douglas College, said in an e-mail interview with the Other Press that Criterion-on-Demand is not the first streaming service to be offered at Douglas College.
“We subscribe to several streaming services such as Films on Demand, Curio (from CBC), and the National Films Board,” he said.
All three streaming services are aimed at providing academic institutions access to films.
Guillou said the college purchases access to streaming services because they are convenient for library users.
“Students and faculty prefer this mode of access instead of having to come to the library and borrow the DVD or the VHS,” he said. “Many students don’t own a DVD or VHS players so it is more convenient for them to be able to access it at anytime from home.”
There is little doubt that fewer people are buying hard copies of films. A 2016 article by Fortune magazine claims that sales of Blu-Ray discs and DVD’s dropped 12 per cent in 2015.
Douglas College staff will assess the benefit versus the cost of the service on an annual basis, according to Guillou.
“It is a subscription-based service. Every year, we will assess it and decide if we want to continue subscribing to it,” he said. “The cost of subscribing to Criterion-on-Demand is $3,000 USD [annually.] It includes mostly feature films but also has more than 100 documentaries.”
According to the Criterion-on-Demand website, the service they provide is unique in the entertainment industry.
“Criterion-on-Demand is the only customizable online feature film solution focused specifically on the Canadian Post Secondary Market,” the webpage says.
The website also says the selection of films that Criterion-on-Demand provides is large.
“Criterion Pictures has the rights to over 15,000 titles,” and “updates titles quarterly.”