AMC plans ad-free streaming service for cable subscribers – sources – Reuters (Mar 24, 2017)
This is an interesting wrinkle on the theme of premium TV channels going direct to consumer. In this case, AMC Networks is talking about going through the pay TV companies rather than around them, which would ensure high-quality distribution but would also limit it to those audiences already paying for traditional TV services, whereas its stated target is the millennials who famously don’t pay for those services. The price being talked about also seems very high: the AMC network is pretty cheap for pay TV distributors – one recent figure I saw suggested under 50 cents per month – so charging $5-7 just to take out ads seems steep. As a company, AMC makes a little over half its revenue from fees, and the rest mostly from ads, so charging ten times as much as it charges distributors just to remove ads doesn’t feel quite right. But it’s good to see the traditional cable networks experimenting with a variety of models as they try to stem the tide of both cord cutting and cord shaving, even if this doesn’t feel like it’s quite going to hit the spot.
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