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AMC readying ad-supported version of AMC Plus streaming service

No launch date was announced, nor was it clear how much cheaper the ad-supported tier will be compared to the $9-a-month commercial-free plan.

No launch date was announced, nor was it clear how much cheaper the ad-supported tier will be compared to the $9-a-month commercial-free plan.

The logo of streaming service AMC Plus.
The logo of streaming service AMC Plus. (Graphic designed by The Desk)

AMC Networks will launch a version of its streaming service that will include advertisements on its on-demand content offering.

The announcement was made Monday in a press release. Officials at AMC said the inclusion of advertising “will offer additional flexibility to subscribers and allow the company’s advertising partners to reach viewers on its flagship streaming product and across a comprehensive ad-supported content ecosystem that spans linear TV networks, streaming and digital [and connected TV] platforms.”

“This is a big moment for AMC Networks and for our advertising partners, because it not only creates a fully-ad supported distribution ecosystem, it also allows advertisers to buy our shows, genres and franchises in a much more comprehensive and impactful way,” Kim Kelleher, the chief commercial officer at AMC Network, said in a statement. “With our new series content, library titles and other targeted streaming platforms that are all bundled into AMC Plus, partners can move beyond individual shows and even series and choose to ‘own’ whole genres and franchises, and drive messaging to target audiences no matter what they are watching or where. We’ve never been able to offer this level of sweeping yet highly focused reach before in such an effective and comprehensive way.”

AMC did not reveal a launch date for AMC Plus, with the announcement simply saying it will debut “later this year.” The media company also didn’t say how much the ad-supported version of AMC Plus will cost. Comparable streaming services typically offer ad-supported service tiers at a lower cost than commercial-free plans.

AMC is hoping an ad-supported version of AMC Plus brings in more streaming subscribers to the service. As of December 2022, AMC counted more than 11.7 million worldwide subscribers to its streaming services, which include niche products like IFC Films Unlimited, Shudder and Sundance Now.

Content from AMC’s ancillary streamers is also included in AMC Plus, which is priced at $9 a month when purchased directly from the company (the service is also available through some cable, satellite and streaming platforms, with prices typically set around the same $9 a month). The company has never broken out streaming subscriber data specific to AMC Plus, but the overall number of global subscribers to AMC products is far lower than that of Comcast’s Peacock, Paramount Global’s Paramount Plus and Disney’s Hulu.

AMC Plus stands alone from the pack in that it also distributes streaming feeds of its traditional cable channels — AMC, IFC, We TV, BBC America and Sundance — without a cable or satellite login. The service also offers early access to some hit AMC programming, including “The Walking Dead,” “Dark Winds” and “Kevin Can F–k Himself,” hours before episodes debut on cable.

Streaming revenue at the end of last year was reported at $502 million, boosted in large part by AMC’s free, ad-supported streaming channels that are distributed through third party platforms like Paramount’s Pluto TV, the Roku Channel and Dish Network’s Sling TV. Those channels include AMC en Español, ALLBLK Gems, IFC Film Picks and Stories by AMC.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).