AMC Theatres, the largest movie theater chain in the world, launched a streaming service last week, called AMC On Demand. The service features a movie library of around 2,000 titles, all of which are available to rent or own, with prices ranging from $3 to $4 to rent and $10 to $20 to buy. The films available on the streaming service will have just finished their theatrical runs, and it should be noted that the service does not stream new theatrical releases – that will remain the job of AMC’s theatres.
At present time, the practice surrounding new releases and V.O.D. is that a typically 90-day grace period is observed. In other words, in order to avoid the ruin of the multiplex concept, most major movie releases must be given enough time in theaters before being available from the comfort of a customer’s couch. While AMC is taking a risk entering into such a competitive marketplace with a setup that already exists from heavy hitters like iTunes and Amazon, the possibility of the 90-day agreement eventually being relaxed or eliminated altogether is a potentially enticing concept.
Source: Screen Rant
AMC loses the ability to capitalize on movies after the 90-day theatrical window, so allowing customers to buy or rent titles through AMC Theatres On Demand is a good way to extend the relationship with moviegoers and give the company a strategic marketing advantage.
In order to access AMC’s On Demand, you’ll need to be a member of the theater’s rewards program, AMC Stubs. Currently, over 20 million households already subscribe to the loyalty program.
Per AMC’s chief content officer Elizabeth Frank offered an example of how the service may work, stating users who bought a ticket to The Lion King, for example, “will all get a personalized message from AMC saying that they can now enjoy it at home through AMC Theaters On Demand” when the film is released digitally.
The service includes newly released movies from Disney, Paramount, Universal, Sony, and Warner Bros, but it doesn’t appear that AMC has any exclusive partnerships, meaning much of the content you see here will also be on other streaming services, BUT AMC Stubs members who use their first transaction to buy or rent a movie distributed by Lionsgate or Paramount Pictures can choose an additional three movies from a selection of that studio’s films, according to the press release. So there’s that.
Also, when you buy or rent through the streaming service, members will be rewarded through their Stubs membership. Members can use Stubs points toward theater snacks and membership upgrades.
Streaming services have given consumers less of a reason to leave their couch and go to the theater, but AMC hopes to offset attendance losses by a streaming service of its own which is tied to its loyalty program. Overall the strategy is a good one, but the biggest challenge AMC will face will be streaming devices such as Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV, which have their own rental stores (iTunes and Prime Video respectively) built in. Notably, AMC Theatres On Demand is absent on those platforms, but is available on LG Smart TVs, Windows or Mac computers, Android or iOS mobile and tablet devices and Roku devices.