AMC Seems To Scoff At Ad-Supported Tiers For Streaming

AMC Networks interim CEO Matt Blank said the company has “no plans” for ad-supported tiers for its streaming services, which include Shudder, Acorn TV, and AMC+. Deadline was first to report on Blank’s comments, which were part of AMC’s quarterly conference call with analysts.

Blank’s most provocative statement on the topic came when he seemingly threw shade against other streaming services, like Netflix–without mentioning them by name. Amid huge losses in subscribers and results allegedly negatively impacted by password-sharing, Netflix in late April came around to the idea of offering an ad-based model to turn things around. Said Blank, “It’s funny when you hear one other large player having trouble… all of a sudden an ad tier is going to solve all problems? We don’t think that’s true, but we’ll certainly monitor it.”

AMC Networks CFO and COO Christina Spade declined to speak specifically to the company’s streaming profits, but said the entertainment company generally looks at all parts of its brands together in its decisions. Spade did, however, say that AMC Networks expects to add about 400,000 subscribers in Q2 of 2022–including upcoming international expansion.

Blank also added that AMC has no immediate plans to ramp up spending on programming to get more subscribers. With AMC shows like Better Call Saul in their final seasons, costs are going up as showrunners are pulling out all the stops–which means producing more expensive content. But, Blank notes, shows wrapping up will be replaced by newcomers that will by definition cost less.

AMC Networks finished Q1 with 9.5 million subscribers after closing out 2021 with just over 9 million.

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