AMC+ plans to launch an ad-supported tier later this year

As more media companies turn to advertising in order to boost revenue, AMC+ is the latest to announce an ad-supported version of its streaming service. Parent company AMC Networks revealed today that it plans to launch the tier in October 2023.

Pricing details and the exact launch date for the ads plan have yet to be announced. The new offering will be sold to advertisers in the company’s 2023-2024 upfront presentation.

AMC+ currently costs $8.99 per month and bundles content from AMC, BBC America, IFC Films Unlimited and Sundance Now, along with niche AMC-owned streamers like Acorn TV and Shudder. Popular content includes shows like “The Walking Dead” and “Mad Men.”

“This is a big moment for AMC Networks and for our advertising partners, because it not only creates a fully-ad supported distribution ecosystem, it also allows advertisers to buy our shows, genres and franchises in a much more comprehensive and impactful way,” said Kim Kelleher, chief commercial officer of AMC Networks, in a statement. “With our new series content, library titles and other targeted streaming platforms that are all bundled into AMC+, partners can move beyond individual shows and even series and choose to ‘own’ whole genres and franchises, and drive messaging to target audiences no matter what they are watching or where. We’ve never been able to offer this level of sweeping yet highly focused reach before in such an effective and comprehensive way.”

The announcement comes on the heels of Disney+ and Netflix launching their own cheaper ad-supported tiers. Overall, AMC+ is joining various streaming services that have already embraced advertising, including Max (formerly HBO Max), Discovery+, Hulu, Paramount+ and Peacock.

In November 2022, James Dolan, chairman of AMC Networks, admitted that its streaming business wasn’t earning enough to make up for the loss of revenue from its traditional cable channels.

“It was our belief that cord-cutting losses would be offset by gains in streaming… This has not been the case,” Dolan wrote in a memo to staff.

In the memo, the company announced layoffs that would affect 20% of staff. Notably, AMC Networks CEO Christina Spade stepped down after less than three months in the role.

It’s likely the company’s hope that a new ad-supported tier will help bring in more AMC+ subscribers. In Q4 2022, AMC Networks reported a total of 11.8 million paid streaming subscribers across all of its streamers — AMC+, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now, ALLBLK and HIDIVE.