AMC Networks Says SVOD Services Top 2M Subscribers

(Image credit: AMC)


AMC Networks said its collection of targeted streaming video-on-demand services now have more than 2 million subscribers, enabling the company to reach one of if its targets for 2019.

The company’s streaming services are Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and UMC.

“AMC Networks continues to lead in the targeted SVOD category. We are building loyal and engaged fan communities around our growing services and our momentum affirms our strategy of super serving distinct premium audiences,” said AMC CEO Josh Sapan. 

AMC Networks is a smaller player in the media world and its streaming strategy has focused on niche services.

“From a financial perspective, our offerings are efficient and attractive, with a large addressable market. We spend much less on programming and marketing than the general entertainment streaming services, and we are able to achieve scale at much lower subscriber levels. As a result, our subscribers have very attractive long-term values,” Sapan said.

“As the market for this category evolves, consumers are increasingly complementing their general entertainment subscriptions with our services, which are becoming ‘must-have’ destinations for each of our target audiences,” Sapan added.

Sapan appeared at the UBS media investors conference on Tuesday and said that AMC Network's direct-to-consumer services current generate about $100 million on a run rate basis.

With 1 million subscribers, Acorn TV is profitable now, Sapan said.

In 3-5 years, Sapan said the company expects its DTC brands to have 2 to 3 times more subscribers and that by 2024, they will be generating  $500 million in revenue.

The DTC business as a whole should be profitable by the end of 2020, and margins should grow as the businesses scale, he said. 

Sapan said that the streaming opportunity has grown since the company decided to get into the business. Initially, it figured services could get between 1 million and 2 million subscribers. Now on a worldwide basis each could someday reach the 10 million subscriber mark. 

"The pace of broadband has moved much more rapidly than I or we anticipated," he said. 

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.