While cable and satellite are still the dominant forms of pay TV in the U.S., more and more people each year are opting to cut the cord, and get their televised entertainment solely through online means. Naturally, giant corporations who’ve spent decades raking in cash through the old set-up aren’t necessarily too pleased with this trend. Regardless, the momentum away from traditional TV services continues, leading some media giants — such as HBO and DirecTV — to try and stake their claim to this new landscape, offering up online-only plans.
As the amount of cord cutters increases, so too it seems does the amount of standalone subscription video streaming services that are competing for the hard-earned dollars of those cable-free consumers. While Netflix is undoubtedly the biggest fish in that ocean, competitors like Hulu, Amazon, and CBS All Accesss have carved out space for themselves in the marketplace, as have skinny bundles like PlayStation Vue and Sling. Unfortunately, not all media companies are as willing to cater to those without cable, such as Viacom, which recently opted to remove next day access to its shows from everywhere but its own network websites.
Following in that line of thinking is apparently AMC, as evidenced by a new report from Reuters. AMC is of course home to The Walking Dead — one of the highest-rated series on TV — and other hits like Better Call Saul and Fear the Walking Dead. With that in mind, the news that AMC is planning to offer an ad-free subscription service for its content that’s priced between $5 and $7 per month is likely to intrigue many. Unfortunately, this service will only be available to those with an existing cable or satellite TV subscription.
This approach of essentially asking users to pay for AMC’s shows twice — once via their cable bill, then again for the ad-free streaming service — runs counter to the approach of nearly every other large network or media corporation as of late, with most deciding to cater directly to cord cutters by offering completely over-the-top services.
One wonders exactly who this would appeal to, outside of those with a militant hatred of watching commercials. AMC already offers cable subscribers next day access to its shows, albeit with ads included. $7 per month seems like a fairly steep premium just to save a few minutes spent watching ads per episode. By comparison, Hulu’s ad-free tier only costs $4 more than the standard Hulu subscription, and CBS All Access charges $4 more for ad-free as well. It’ll be interesting to see how much success AMC has with this rather odd subscription model.