How the New AMC Streaming Service Differs From the Competition

Cinema chain AMC yesterday launched its own streaming service, a first for a cinema operator, that allows AMC Stubs members to buy or rent movies over the network.

Headlines on a number of sites claimed the move dealt a “blow” to Netflix and other streaming services. While this could certainly potentially distract businesses from Netflix, Hulu, and Prime Video, the chances are that people will use the service independently or not at all. Here’s what you need to know:

What’s this?

Instead of comparing AMC’s streaming service to Netflix or Hulu, it’s better to compare it to iTunes or Google Play. Nothing can be streamed for free from the AMC service. Instead, you will need to either buy or rent the movies you want to watch one by one.

What can I see?

AMC says it has deals with “all the major studios” and will have around 2,000 films on the market at launch. As you browse through the offers, you will see a lot of the same here as in other services. Some of the newer releases on the platform include Rocketman , Toy Story 4, and The Lion King .

It does not currently have any exclusive partnerships (at least none of them), so whatever you see here is likely to be seen on another platform as well.

How do I subscribe?

To access the AMC streaming options, you need to be a member of the Stubs Theater Rewards program, which is free to join, although you will need to pass on some personal information such as your address and date of birth in order to join the club.

Plus, you will be charged individually for the movies you want to watch. For example, Toy Story 4 costs $ 5.99 for rent and $ 19.99 for ownership. While the prices are the same for purchase on all other major platforms, everywhere except AMC (Apple, Amazon, YouTube, Google, Vudu), the movie is being offered for rent for $ 4.99 instead of $ 5.99.

Who is it for?

This is a good question. Since the service is currently only available for limited platforms, renting or buying movies through it will be a lot less smooth than just getting them through the services you are currently using. If you rent movies, it might even be more expensive.

However, AMC is sweetening the pot by offering Stubs points to people who rent or buy through the platform, worth 20 points for every dollar spent on free subscribers, the same as you earn in a movie theater (paid A-list subscribers earn 100 points for 1 dollar). Once you have 5,000 points, you can redeem them for a $ 5 discount per purchase.

This means that you spend $ 250 as a free customer to get the $ 5 discount. If you watch an AMC movie theater regularly, it might make sense (that $ 5 is ultimately much better than the $ 0 you get from other services), but buying from your current movie ecosystem might not be worth the small reward.


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