Does AMC really think that people are cutting the cord because of commercials? If so the company’s leadership is completely missing the point. Call it “HBO Go like” call it a premium option. The new on-demand AMC commercial free app is nothing but a money grab. And if it has wide adoption I will have to mark myself as stunned.
While cable users are obviously used to paying a great deal of money for content month after month, the idea that someone would be highly motivated to pay $5.00 per month to watch content that they are already paying for in some bloated bundle is absurd.
It isn’t hard to skip commercials
There is already a way to watch AMC shows without watching commercials. It’s called a DVR. Now DVR’s do require a user to press fast forward to move past commercials but come on. Is that really more effort than the American public is willing to put up with?
Is this a model that people would be willing to do for others?
Many innovations are copied by competitors. DVR is one of them. But can you imagine that other networks would offer the same kind of deal to great enthusiasm? With cable prices rising how likely do you think it would be that a customer would willingly raise their monthly bill by 10-15 dollars for an option like this?
It will Lead To more Password Sharing
HBO Go is a super popular service, especially for the kids and friends of people who have HBO. Why? Because the TV everywhere option is accessible to people who have the correct cable password. It does not require a user to have a cable box or any other connection to a legitimate HBO account in order to access it. Therefore, like Netflix, and other streaming services users share information in order to let friends and family access the content. HBO has since released HBO Now, which allows the same sort of functionality without the ethical breach for $15.00.
The AMC option will probably lead to exactly the same situation. AMC does have a couple of very popular shows including multiple Walking Dead titles and Better Call Saul. As the service becomes more widespread among cable providers more and more people are going to share with others.
AMC may well make a little extra money from this offering, because yes there are people who hate commercials so much that they will spend more money on their cable bills than they already do. But the chance of this becoming revolutionary is scant. It goes against the idea of making content easier to access. As confused as the TV everywhere landscape already is AMC is just further fragmenting the market. People get confused pretty easily when it comes to services like this and there will be a portion who believe that AMC is just somehow raising the price of its channel.