Today AMC announced its 1st quarter 2023 earnings and reported that it lost 300,000 subscribers to its streaming, including AMC+, Shudder, and SundanceNow. In total, AMC has 11.5 million subscribers to its streaming services as of March 31st, 2023.
AMC did report revenues up 1% to $717 year-over-year, even though ad revenue was down 20%.
“AMC Networks has always been known for great content that breaks through in popular culture, receives critical acclaim and engages fans,” CEO Kristin Dolan said in a letter to shareholders. “In an environment of shifting consumption, we are committed to making our content available across the entire distribution ecosystem. While we reevaluate the pathways to content monetization, we are strategically reducing costs and streamlining our organization. These efforts contributed to a first quarter with strong margins and increased streaming revenue as we prioritized higher-value subscribers for our streaming portfolio. We remain focused on the overall profitability of the company as we continue to maintain a strong balance sheet, drive free cash flow and maximize shareholder value.”
According to a memo the Wall Street Journal got access to from AMC Chairman James Dolan, AMC’s streaming plans are failing. The memo indicates AMC had believed losses from cord cutting would be offset by streaming gains, but that expectation failed to become a reality. Dolan’s memo, per the WSJ, said that “mechanisms for the monetization of content are in disarray.”
Now to help attract more subscribers and stop the losses to AMC’s streaming efforts, AMC has announced that they will release a cheaper ad-supported tier of AMC+ later this year.
Currently, AMC+ costs $8.99 a month, and AMC plans to offer a cheaper plan but has not announced exactly what the price of that cheaper ad-supported plan will be.
This comes as many media companies like AMC had expected streaming to be a one-for-one replacement for cable TV. Unfortunately for them, a growing number of cord cutters are skipping live TV streaming services like Hulu, Sling TV, YouTube TV, and more in favor of on-demand services like Paramount+, Disney+, and more.
AMC+ offers programming from AMC-owned networks, including AMC, IFC, SundanceTV, and BBC America. You will also find films and programs from AMC’s other streaming services, Shudder and SundanceNow.