The mark of any maturing business is consolidation, and we're starting to see a bit of that in the area of video streaming.
Movie exhibition chain AMC Entertainment is folding in its three-and-a-half-year-old digital transactional service AMC Theatres On Demand into Vudu, the movie rental and sale platform operated by longtime partner NBCUniversal and its Fandango division. (Fandango acquired Vudu in 2020 for an undisclosed amount, and then shut down its own movie and TV show rental platform, FandangoNow.)
Starting Thursday, AMC Theatres On Demand users can access their libraries through their existing Vudu account, or by establishing Vudu credentials.
A perk: Eligible titles in their libraries will be upgraded to 4K UHD (or the best possible Vudu display format). AMC refugees will also get 15% off purchases for the first month that they use Vudu.
AMC launched its digital service in October 2019, offering around 20,000 movies for purchase or rent to its base of nearly 20 million "Stubs" loyalty members.
And the transactional service had its brief moment during the pandemic, especially when Universal Pictures made titles available on the platform 17 days after their premieres in largely evacuated theaters.
You'd never know it by looking at AMC Entertainment's NYSE price (shares are trading at around $4.50 a unit vs. $13.50 on June 1 of last year), but U.S. moviegoing is starting to recover a bit. AMC's adjusted net loss of $179.7 million in the first quarter of 2023 compared to $266.3 million in Q1 2022. (We'll see if the ongoing WGA strike impacts that in the coming months.)
The theater chain will now get a cut of its digital sales and retnals on a Vudu platform that counts 60 million registered users, and AMC will no longer have to prop up its own platform.
“AMC Theatres has been a valued exhibition partner of Fandango’s for more than two decades, and we’re thrilled to now offer our Vudu streaming service to AMC Theatres On Demand consumers,” said Cameron Douglas, VP of home entertainment at Fandango, in a statement.
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Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!