The Criterion of Quality: A Paratextual Analysis of the Criterion Collection in the Age of Digital Distribution
Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Nam Lee, Ph.D
Robert T. Buerkle, Ph.D
In 2011, home-video distribution company, The Criterion Collection, teamed up with streaming-content provider Hulu, extending their business model to include online streaming to subscribers through Hulu Plus. With the rise of Over-The-Top (OTT) media distribution services into the at-home market, the question that Criterion now faces is: how will the company survive as the market shifts away from Criterion’s established values? And, more pertinently, how does Criterion, by rebranding their image to compete in the streaming market, hope to attract new users without alienating their established fan base or sacrificing their brand identity? This thesis examines the Criterion Collection’s brand identity, business model, and history, focusing on its packaging and promotion, distribution channels (physical and streaming), and the formation of a self-established cinephile community through their website, Criterion.com. In my examination of Criterion’s attempts to branch out into new markets and adapt to alternative modes of media consumption, I argue that Criterion is taking strides to attract new audiences and build a tightly knit online fan community around their brand.
Hyatt, Jonathan Charles. "The Criterion of Quality: A Paratextual Analysis of the Criterion Collection in the Age of Digital Distribution." Master's thesis, Chapman University, 2014. https://doi.org/10.36837/chapman.000035