AMC’s streaming service would still need a cable subscription
Just because a TV channel wants to offer an online video service doesn’t mean it’s forward thinking. Case in point: AMC. Reuters sources claim that the network is prepping a paid streaming option (tentatively $5-7 per month) that would require a conventional TV subscription — it’d be an add-on to your cable package, and nothing more. What this service would offer isn’t clear (AMC isn’t commenting), but there’s talk of an online-only The Walking Dead spinoff in the mix. However, the bigger question is why AMC would chain the service to an existing TV bundle in the first place.
The tipsters say that it’s a way of supporting the traditional TV industry at a time when younger viewers are increasingly going internet-only. Surely millennials (a large part of AMC’s audience) will stick around if there’s more to watch online, won’t they?
The problem, as you might guess, is that AMC wouldn’t be launching this service into a vacuum. You can already get AMC through stand-alone streaming offerings like PlayStation Vue… are potential cord-cutters really going to keep a pricey cable package in the off chance they can pay more for some bonus Walking Dead material? And while they’re not directly comparable, it’s hard to ignore stand-alone services like HBO Now and Starz, both of which arguably offer better value to online viewers. Simply put, AMC’s reported plan would be more about placating change-resistant executives than pleasing customers.