AMC Networks has begun the rollout of an ad-supported version of its flagship AMC+ streaming service, with initial availability on its direct-to-consumer platform and apps. Priced at $4.99 per month, ad loads will be less than five minutes per hour.
AMC Networks has begun the rollout of an ad-supported version of its flagship AMC+ streaming service in the U.S., with initial availability on its direct-to-consumer platform and apps, expanding to third-party platforms and channel providers in the coming weeks. Priced at $4.99 per month, the ad-supported version includes a light ad-load of less than five minutes per hour and all the same series and film titles that are offered on the ad-free version (including premium original series).
Ad-free plans will remain available at the current pricing of $8.99 per month. Ad-free viewers are also being given the option to save over 20% on standard monthly rates with an annual subscription for $83.88.
“This ad-supported version of AMC+ gives consumers more flexibility while bringing ads to the only piece of our distribution ecosystem that wasn’t already ad-supported,” says Kim Kelleher, chief commercial officer of AMC Networks. “Now, with our linear networks, strong and growing presence on connected TV and FAST platforms and ad-supported AMC+, our advertising partners can fully leverage the reach and appeal of our high-quality shows and connect with viewers wherever and however they choose to watch.”
AMC Networks is promising advertisers innovative ways to reach consumers, like interactive and shoppable ads, and more flexibility in product integrations [integrating brands into shows]. A key feature is the ability to ‘own’ a genre with a whole-genre takeover across AMC+.
As part of the AMC+ bundle, ad-supported subscribers get full access to streaming services Shudder (Horror), Sundance Now (drama, mystery, true crime), and IFC Films Unlimited (indie, foreign and documentaries), providing advertisers with a chance to get in front of viewers in popular thematic services. The AMC+ bundle also includes the linear networks for AMC, BBC America, IFC and Sundance TV.
AMC+ is the latest ad-free streaming service to introduce an ad-supported tier, with Netflix and Disney+ being other notable examples. Netflix represents a true pivot, after the company spent years championing the virtues of ad-free viewing. AMC and Disney, as long-time channel/network owners, are no strangers to advertising. AMC Networks emphasises its linear-plus-streaming credentials and part of its ‘value-add’ to advertisers will be the ability to unify ad campaigns that reach consumers across both delivery methods. We must not forget the continuing importance of linear TV for advertising ‘reach’, despite the rapid growth of streaming.
It matters to advertisers when previously ad-free premium streaming environments are opened up to advertising. Marketers need reach, and with the slow decline in broadcast linear viewing, they need to find reach within quality viewing environments that match broadcast television. Despite deliberate efforts to keep ad loads low in ad-supported tiers of services like AMC+, the ad-tiers still represent a welcome addition of new ‘opportunities to see’.
Photo courtesy of AMC Networks.