Less than a month before multiplex film juggernaut Disney is set to launch its streaming service, the largest theatre operator in the world has released its own on-demand online movie store.
On Tuesday, AMC Theatres launched a video service that will allow subscribers to watch about 2,000 movies for rent and purchase on-demand.
Editor’s Note: Given that AMC is largely based in the U.S. it’s unlikely that we’ll see their new streaming service in Australia, but it does go to show how specialised and broken up streaming services around the world are becoming. The subscription wars are on.
The New York Times reports that Disney, Paramount, Universal, Sony and Warner Bros. — the five largest studios — have agreements with AMC to feature newly released and catalogue films. The AMC service will reportedly charge about $US10 ($15) to $US20 ($30) to purchase movies and about $US3 ($4) to $US6 ($9) to rent movies.
The new platform will lean on its theatre subscription service, AMC Stubs A-List, which allows customers to view three movies at theatres each week for $US20 ($30) a month. The program — which was inspired by the now-deceased MoviePass — recently passed 900,000 subscribers, according to Variety.
AMC says its lower-tier customer loyalty program, AMC Stubs, has 20 million subscribers. Of course, AMC faces heavy competition from other movie streaming services like iTunes, Amazon, and Disney+, but AMC CEO and President Adam Aron said in a statement that the Stubs database gives the business a marketing edge.
“With more than 20 million AMC Stubs households, and with our web site and smartphone apps already being visited hundreds of millions of times annually by movie fans, AMC Theatres is in a unique position to promote specific movies with greater personalisation than has ever been possible before,” AMC CEO and President Adam Aron said in a statement shared with Gizmodo. “Through the launch of AMC Theatres On Demand, we can reach movie lovers directly and make it easy for them to access films digitally.”
AMC’s chief content officer, Elizabeth Frank, provided an example to the Times showing how the company plans to use the Stubs service. She said that the roughly 6 million Stubs users who bought tickets to The Lion King “will all get a personalised message from AMC saying that they can now enjoy it at home through AMC Theatres On Demand” when the film is released digitally.
The new service targets American movie buffs who regularly watch movies at the theatre, but also stream, like everyone else. It seems AMC is trying to forge a stronger connection between the two experiences.