Despite all the attention of big-name premium services -- Disney+, HBO Max -- there is still room for niche, premium streamers. MoffettNathanson Research says AMC Networks’ efforts around its collection of apps seem to be working. Right now, it is on track to hit 9 million collective streaming subscribers across Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now, and ALLBLK, and AMC+.
Josh Sapan, president/CEO of AMC Networks, says by 2025 AMC’s streaming service will generate more revenue from its streaming apps than its traditional, legacy TV business.
All that sounds amazing. But probably not all unexpected.
There is a rocketing business for virtually all premium streamers. According to their respective parent companies -- Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+ and Peacock -- even the more modest of these services say they reach around 40 million plus homes. TV networks are hovering at around 70 million to 80 million subscribers now -- which took decades to achieve. Streaming is a fast-rising business.
But does it deliver matching revenue? That's still a major question.
TV network companies have anywhere from a dozen to around 20 broadcast and cable channels. Early on, companies have been putting some, all, or a majority of their TV and movie content on essentially one platform. These streamers can have different ad-supported and subscription/no advertising options.
Perhaps as the business grows, expect more streaming apps per company. Maybe not as much as having a dozen or so (like with their live, linear TV networks). But perhaps two or three.
Lessons learned? NBCUniversal quickly launched (2015) and then stopped (2017) its comedy-centric Seeso. NBCU may have been jumping the line in terms of where premium streaming would be headed when it came to targeted programming. For its part, AMC says its costs are modest: 18 of its 20 most recent series cost less than $1 million per episode.
Still, there would seem to be consolidation -- somewhere -- that is coming. Think about those 200 or so live, legacy TV networks on traditional cable, satellite or telco systems. Will they all survive? Will legacy TV content be packaged into a single streaming platform?
Think about the direction Discovery Inc. has gone with its discovery+ streamer, launched at the beginning of this year. On-air marketing -- as with other streamers -- promotes a high-profile selection from all its cable TV networks. Does that mean fewer, less popular shows?
One key pitch from AMC Network might give a clue to what’s to come: Its goal is to become “the worldwide leader in targeted streaming.” Before all that might happen, ask yourself this: What will a slow dismantling of the live/legacy TV networks look like in ten years?