AMC Networks grows streaming subscribers by 157% in Q4

AMC Plus
The company has been expanding distribution for the AMC+ bundled streaming offering. (AMC Networks)

AMC Networks said its streaming services – AMC+, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance TV and ALLBLK – grew their collective subscriber base by 157% in the fourth quarter.

Overall, AMC Networks said it ended 2020 with more than 6 million streaming subscribers combined. The programmer formerly expected to have between 5 million and 5.5 million subscribers by the close of last year. CEO Josh Sapan said his company’s streaming subscriber growth is now three years ahead of schedule.

AMC Networks said it now expects to have more than 9 million streaming subscribers combined by the end of 2021. Looking even further out, the company said it anticipates having 20 million to 25 million total by 2025.

“Streaming is now the most significant growth area of our company and we expect it will become our largest revenue segment within that longer horizon,” said Sapan during today’s earnings call.

RELATED: AMC+ expects over 1M subscribers by end of 2020

AMC Networks said its streaming run rate revenue grew from approximately $125 million in 2019 to approximately $300 million by the end of 2020. Overall, the company’s revenue declined slightly to about $780 million and adjusted operating income fell 33% to about $133 million in the fourth quarter.

The company has been expanding distribution for the AMC+ bundled streaming offering, recently adding Roku to the list with Comcast, Dish Network, Sling TV, DirecTV, Amazon Prime Video Channels and Apple TV Channels. The company said additional launches are planned for later this year.

While the streaming audience reach grows for AMC Networks, Sapan said his company has kept its relationships with distributors strong. Over the past two years, AMC Networks has renewed eight major carriage arrangements with network distribution partners in the United States and Canada.

“By making our affiliates key partners in our streaming ambitions while maintaining the most cost-effective wholesale rate for our basic cable channels, we are aligned with our MVPDs as we work with them to deliver multiple options for their customers,” Sapan said.

AMC Networks has also been growing its ad-supported streaming business through content agreements with PlutoTV, Amazon’s IMDb TV, Sling TV, Samsung TV Plus and Vizio SmartCast.