AMC Networks told investors Friday that it's approaching 9 million streaming subscribers for a subscription services portfolio that includes AMC+, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK.
And by 2025, AMC is targeting 20 million - 25 million customers for these platforms--a number that AMC interim CEO Matthew Blank said will be meaningful as the top SVOD services approach market saturation earlier than expected.
"First, the 9 million paid streaming subscribers we expect to have by year-end and the 20 million to 25 million subscribers we project for 2025 may seem small when set against the large streamers," Blank said during AMC's third-quarter earnings call "However, it will be absolutely transformational for us. Twenty million to 25 million subscribers will make streaming potentially the biggest contributor to our business ... These goals are very attainable with our targeted strategy. We don't compete with the other streamers, and this puts us in a very solid advantageous position as we navigate a streaming future."
The market effects of the pandemic have matured the market at a much faster rate than earlier anticipated, Blank added, opening space in the market for smaller niche SVOD players.
"One of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past 18 months or so is that it accelerated what was to have been a far more orderly transition to streaming, perhaps by as much as four or five years," Blank said.
"The massive growth of the big players during this period of time brings them much closer to some level of market saturation at an earlier point in time than we would have otherwise anticipated," Blank added. "As consumers become more accustomed to streaming, they're also looking to go deeper in different content areas. And targeted services like ours are well suited to provide this content depth.
Meanwhile, Blank touted the return of select licensed AMC content to exclusive positions within inhouse platforms like AMC Plus. We're not talking Breaking Bad or Mad Men here, but it's a start.
"As our current deals with Netflix and Hulu expire, we'll have hundreds of hours of high-quality shows and films coming back to us, such as critical hits like Halt and Catch Fire, Turn and Rectify as well as all 11 seasons of The Walking Dead a few years out from now," Blank said.
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