AMC Theatres has launched its own streaming service, called AMC On Demand. The largest movie theater chain in the world, AMC has persevered since 1920, in a business model that has become increasingly difficult to sustain with the advent of subscription streaming services.
In the upcoming months, streaming media is set to take another giant leap forward, with Apple+, Disney+, HBO Max and NBCUniversal all rolling out their grand plans and hopes for subscription service domination. It’s difficult to see how any one network is going to set itself apart in a landscape that is currently ruled by Netflix, but without a doubt, things are set to become so much more competitive. In this increasingly crowded marketplace, AMC has set its sights on streaming as well - though not via the popular subscription model that other companies are employing.
As per the information on AMC's website, the theater chain giant has set up a new streaming service called AMC Theatres On Demand. The service is free and presents users with a movie library of around 2,000 titles, all of which are available to rent or own, with prices ranging from $3 to $3.99 to rent and $9.99 to $19.99 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. And, in a time when Netflix has been accused by some of Hollywood’s biggest names of being “a challenge to cinema,” it’s hard to say for certain whether we’ll soon see the day where all films skip the theatrical release process altogether or not.
If there is a saving grave for AMC on this latest venture, it’s that purchases or rentals through the service also offers points in its AMC Stubs loyalty program, which can be redeemed for discounts on movies at the theatre itself. It’s certainly not an original concept, but given the theater chain’s entrenched status with the multiplex, they just might be making a smart move here to secure another aspect of their customers’ growing list of entertainment needs.