AMC COO Defends High AMC+ Price Point: 'It's the Comic-Con Crowd'

Combo of AMC content, Shudder and Sundance Now “hits a sweet spot,” Ed Carroll says

Gene Page/AMC

The rebranded AMC Premiere, AMC+, is not a particularly inexpensive streaming service — especially if you’re not a Comcast cable customer.

Subscribing to AMC+ through Comcast Xfinity costs $4.99 per month. However, the expanded former AMC Premiere costs $8.99 per month, or practically double that price, for those who subscribe to through Amazon or Apple TV.

Elsewhere, it’s about $2 less per month: AMC+ costs $7 per month on Sling, $6.99 for Dish customers.

On Monday, AMC Networks COO (chief operating officer) Ed Carroll explained that the Comcast *discount* is due to the major cable distributor being a “co-architect” of AMC’s SVOD (subscriber video on demand) delivery system.

“We did a fair amount of modeling and determined that $8.99 was the right introductory price point, and [we] will be migrating some of those AMC Premieres at lower price points to higher price points over time,” Carroll said on a Monday morning conference call tied to AMC’s third-quarter 2020 earnings. “The power of the broad offering on ‘The Walking Dead’ is proving very compelling to subscribers.”

As is its genre-friendly combination with AMC’s standalone horror service Shudder.

Shudder currently costs $5.99 per month, Sundance Now costs $6.99 per month, Carroll pointed out. Both of those individual services are also included in AMC+. Shudder has more than 1 million subscribers itself, so there is an existing market.

“It’s the Comic-Con crowd that has embraced our zombie series and shows like ‘Preacher’ and ‘Into the Badlands’ and ‘A Discovery of Witches’– and it’s broad,” Carroll said.

That combo of AMC content, Shudder and Sundance Now “hits a sweet spot,” he said of AMC+. “It’s still a targeted product, but it’s one with a significantly higher ceiling.”

Throw in what Carroll called the “prestige side” of AMC’s brands — series like “Mad Men,” “Killing Eve” and “Better Call Saul” plus IFC Films — and $9 per month felt right.

AMC+ is an ad-free streaming bundle that includes the best of AMC, plus the complete collections of Shudder, Sundance Now and IFC Films Unlimited. The service also includes exclusive series and early access to certain shows.

Read all about AMC Networks’ Q3 earnings here.

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