It was our belief that cord cutting losses would be offset by gains in streaming. This has not been the case. We are primarily a content company and the mechanisms for the monetization of content are in disarray.– James Dolan, Chairman, AMC Networks, Nov 29, 2022
Well, some linear networks now seem officially doomed. Last week, AMC Networks CEO Christina Spade stepped down after being on the job for less than three months, and the company announced a restructuring plan with “initiatives that will include, among other things, strategic programming assessments and organizational restructuring costs”.
My first mailing on The Information’s platform was about whether AMC Networks’ and Starz’s bets on more niche streaming services — each focused on various genres (British, Horror, Independent) or audiences (women, African Americans) — would succeed.
One year later, AMC Networks is facing a strategic restructuring and Starz has rebranded its streaming service internationally to LIONSGATE+ while withdrawing from seven international territories (six European and Japan). AMC Networks has also fallen short where Starz has succeeded: streaming now accounts for 71% of STARZ subscribers and 62% of its revenues. “This has not been the case” at AMC Networks.
AMC Networks has effectively thrown in the towel on its strategy. It is a canary in the coalmine… but, for narrower purposes than those wondering whether it augurs the end of linear networks.
AMC Networks has successfully built a suite of niche services, and its headwinds are the result of its own lack of Internet savvy (but may be solvable).
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In streaming terms AMC Networks is a weird business: