Streaming: program culture

AMC+ combined with Shudder, AcornTV (British programming), Sundance Now, IFC Films Unlimited and ALLBLK (formerly UMC) reported more than 9mm subscribers at the end of 2021 with 20-25mm paid subscribers projected by 2025. Comcast renewed their carriage agreement with AMC+ which is available on their Xfinity platform. Unlike other services, executives at AMC+ disclosed that their strategy is niche programming, like horror themed Shudder or British television’s Acorn. Having this curated approach to content and creating communities around program culture is something that we talked about in 2018. With such an approach to content, AMC expects around 400K new subscribers in Q1 2022. But what is the benefit of such a gain? Easy – customer retention. Subscribers of niche programming are more likely to engage and stay, and, are less likely to churn since subscription rates tend to be lower than average.

In February, ViacomCBS announced it would rebrand as Paramount Global with a focus on streaming. If you watched the Grammy Awards, then you may be familiar with Paramount+, the service owned by ViacomCBS that broadcast the live television program. Recent reports show a total of about 56mm streaming subscribers on Paramount+ globally, which includes other services such as Showtime and BET+. Similar to NBCUniversal-owned Peacock, Paramount+ also offers live and linear integrations to viewers. Live integrations align with a viewer’s local cable subscription, whereas linear integrations are for curated content (think independent channels with CBS-owned content curated to specific themes). In a play to win 100mm subscribers by 2024, Paramount Global will pull its movies from the Epix platform and stream them exclusively on Paramount+ during the Pay One window after theatrical exhibition.

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