AMC Networks said its first-quarter subscription revenues increased 14% due largely to its subscription streaming services including AMC+.
The company said the increase in paid streaming subscribers was partially offset by a decrease in affiliate revenue, which it attributed to overall pay TV subscriber declines.
AMC Networks didn’t provide a specific figure for subscriber growth totals during the quarter but confirmed that it’s still on track for more than 9 million subscribers by the end of 2021. That’s across AMC+, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK. The company also confirmed its longer-term guidance of 20 million to 25 million total subscribers by 2025.
AMC+ is only offered through partners including Dish Network, Comcast, Roku, Amazon and Apple, meaning there isn’t a direct-to-consumer offering for AMC+ in the market today. However, COO Ed Carroll suggested that could change eventually.
“Streaming is now the most significant growth area across our company,” said CEO Josh Sapan, who touted AMC Networks’ targeted SVOD approach, which he said is less impacted by tentpole events that drive spikes in subscriber growth.
AMC Networks switched up its segment reporting this quarter and going forward. Its streaming services, which were previously reported as part of its international business segment, are now included with its domestic operations.
Domestic operations revenues fell 6% to $574 million during the quarter as declines in advertising revenues—due to changes in the timing around original programming—and distribution revenues. Content licensing revenues dropped 54%, which the company attributed largely to pandemic-related production delays.
Operating income for the segment fell 4% to $216 million and adjusted operating income increased 1% to $243 million, which AMC Networks said was due to a decrease in operating expenses partly offset by increased marketing investments to boost its streaming business.
AMC Networks’ consolidated revenue totaled approximately $692 million, down 5.8% year over year. Total adjusted operating income fell 7% during the quarter.