Ads are the new black: AOL starts streaming classic Miramax movies

Next up to take a page from Sony’s (S SNE) Crackle playbook is… AOL: (S AOL) The internet company has struck a deal with Hollywood heavyweight Miramax to stream movies from its library on its AOL On video website, as well as through its connected TV and mobile apps. Neither company would commit to listing any specific titles that will be available, but Variety helpfully reminds us that the Miramax catalog includes movies like Pulp Fiction, Chicago, Cinema Paradiso and Reservoir Dogs.
The movies will be made available free of charge and will feature advertising, which makes this yet another move for AOL to expand its video ad business. AOL streamed 3.8 billion video ads to U.S. viewers in March, according to comScore, which makes it the second largest domestic video advertising platform. Adding more longform content to its library could help AOL get viewers to stick around longer, and have them consume even more ads.
AOL isn’t alone in its embrace of ad-supported movie content. Sony has been making some of its titles freely available through its Crackle site for years, and connected app and advertising startup Adrise recently launched Tubi TV to deliver ad-supported videos to Amazon’s new Fire TV and other connected TV platforms. Hulu has also been offering some movies, including Miramax titles, to the users of its free web offering, and recently started to surface some of these titles as part of monthly staff picks.