During the Gabelli Funds 15th Annual Media and Entertainment Symposium, AMC Networks’ Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Patrick O’Connell discussed a potential “self bundle” service. This would be an expansion of its recent bundling maneuvers. AMC+ recently began offering AMC content alongside IFC, BBC America, Sundance TV, Sundance Now, Shudder, and Acorn TV.
“We think all our brands stand alone, right? They target specific audiences. They’re designed to super serve those audiences. That being said, we think it probably does make sense over time to sort of self-bundle,” said O’Connell. “We’ll be mindful of pricing there, obviously, from a cannibalization standpoint. You’re always walking that line.”
This is only an idea at this point and a good one at that to keep AMC Networks relevant amidst an evolution of streaming services from several platforms into one-stop entertainment apps.
Recently, Warner Bros. Discovery rebranded HBO Max to form Max, which also includes Discovery+ content. The network is also considering adding Disney+ and Paramount+ to the mix. Disney is working on combining with Hulu.
AMC Networks is still looking into the idea while refocusing its streaming efforts. “From a monetization standpoint, streaming for us is just one tool in the toolkit,” said O’Connell. AMC Studios already produces a lot of content for AMC Network in addition to other networks and streaming services.
The network previously announced a new ad-supported AMC+ tier would be released this October. AMC+ has been losing subscribers, down by approximately 300,000 members between the last quarter of 2022 and the end of the first quarter of 2023. This is AMC Networks’ primary focus at the moment as the company strives to reconnect with lost members and drive up new subscriber counts.
For now, the idea of an AMC bundled streaming service is just a twinkle in the network’s eye, though if the new ad-supported app launch achieves the network’s goals, bundling could be the next big step the company takes.