AMC Theaters is in a position to cash in big time on its successful launch of its Stubs A-List theater subscription service. The 3 movie a week service that launched in the wake of Movie Pass has over 700,000 members nation-wide and has been received very positively by those who have gotten involved with the program. I can attest from my own use (fully paid) that the app works very well and has given me many afternoons of relaxing in movie theaters with reclining seats and heaters for my sometimes creaky back (Lift with your knees kids).
recently AMC announced that it would be launching a movie streaming service which of course immediately drew coverage from media sources making comparisons to Netflix and other main stream apps. That thinking very much misses the point as AMC’s service is going to be much more akin to iTunes, Google Play Movies, Vudu and other on-demand apps. It will allow users to purchase movies that are available to stream in a digital format after their theatrical runs. While this seems like a very hard market to jump into being that there are so many other companies already in this game AMC has a way to draw people in to its service that most transactional services do not. Credits.
AMC Stubbs A-List members earn credits for using their apps to see movies. And those credits add up to $5.00 chunks that can be redeemed for food and guest tickets. If AMC builds the streaming option into the already existing program it could entice its customers to stay in its ecosystem by allowing them to use the credits towards streaming purchases as well. Even more so it could allow users who purchase movies via the streaming app to earn credits as well. This could have the effect of coaxing people to visit the theater more often and use their credits to pay for say one of 3 boxes of candy. As many people know, the key to movie theater profits is concessions, not ticket sales. And by charging $20.00 per month to get people to come out to the theater more often they increase the chances that someone will order food. After all the ticket is already paid for.
If it can build up this base of customers so that it spends more time on the app it will be able to collect more and more data on the interests of its customers in an age where data is gold. And as customers become more engaged with the platform it opens up more advertising opportunities for its corporate partners like Coke, Hersheys etc.
At this point there is no specific reason that someone would choose to rent a movie from Vudu as apposed to Google Play. But if AMC thinks a little outside the box and a little inside the app it could prove to be a rare big win win for customers and company.