Just as mobile was seen to have challenged the PC and then digital camera markets, video streaming has put not just cable operators but also movie theaters on notice. The latter still do exist and enjoy some loyal customers but ticket sales are causing theater chains to worry about their future. Few, however, are willing to throw in the towel and admit defeat. AMC, one of if not the largest chains in the US, is surprisingly going against the flow and will play for both teams, offering its own Video on Demand service really soon.
Why would anyone go to a theater when they can watch from the convenience of their homes, right? Turns out, there can be plenty of reasons to still go out to see a movie, from the economy of paying only for what you want to watch to social aspects of seeing films with like-minded people. There might also be the quality of the audio-visual experience that few may be able to set up in their living rooms.
It turns out that AMC president Adam Aron is confident in that theater business, confident enough to launch a rivaling product that makes many theater owners cringe. Aron, however, sees it simply as another venue for growth. Just like its subscription program that challenged the MoviePass service that theaters loved to hate.
Major US studios are, unsurprisingly happy with AMC’s Theater on Demand, especially since the service focuses on movies and movies only. They won’t have to fight with music and ebooks for attention, in other words. Disney, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros are already on board with deals to be featured on AMC’s catalog.
That catalog will, of course, be crucial to the service’s success. Naturally, it won’t be an exhaustive one, as just over 2,000 titles have been mentioned. That won’t include the latest films, of course, as those will have a period of exclusivity to theaters, including AMC’s own. That’s yet another reason to go to theaters for more avid film buffs.
AMC Theater on Demand is slated to be announced this Tuesday. Films will be offered both for rent, with prices ranging from $3 to $6. Titles can also be “purchased” (you don’t really own them) for $10 to $20, depending on the film.