AMC is planning to launch a streaming subscription service that would offer commercial-free access to the network’s catalog of hit shows including The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul and Breaking Bad.
Unlike most standalone offerings that can be used by anyone willing to pay, AMC’s offering will reportedly be available exclusively to cable and satellite TV subscribers. What’s more, it won’t be cheap.
Sources familiar with the matter tell Reuters that AMC is considering pricing the subscription service between $4.99 and $6.99 per month.
Paying to eliminate advertising is common in the world of subscription services but this just seems like an ill-informed, tough sell. That price point is in the same ballpark as CBS All Access which charges $5.99 a month (or $9.99 per month for an ad-free experience). HBO charges significantly more for its standalone app ($14.99 per month) although neither CBS nor HBO come with the prerequisite of being a pay-TV subscriber.
Not catering to cord cutters, a growing demographic, seems like a misstep.
Sources say AMC is also discussing the idea of featuring digital-only spin-off shows of existing programs like The Walking Dead as part of the service. If we’re being real here, who really cares? AMC isn’t going to pump much money into content that’s viewed by a limited audience so it’s not as if this would be must-see programming.
Unless the proposed price comes down significantly (like to the $1-2 per month range), I can’t see AMC generating much interest here. While I commend them on having several hit shows, it feels as though there has to be a better way to try and monetize the content that actually makes sense for the consumer.