Would you use a streaming service from a movie chain? AMC Theatres hopes you will

Joe Supan
JS
Joe Supan
Oct 23, 2019

AMC Theatres, the largest movie theater chain in the country, is coming to your TV.

But unlike most of the streaming services launching this year, it won’t require yet another monthly subscription fee.

AMC Theatres On Demand will allow users to rent or buy individual movies. This new AMC streaming service is looking to take advantage of the millions of people who already use their AMC Stubs reward program, and launches today with around 2,000 movies immediately available.

“With more than 20 million AMC Stubs households, and with our website and smartphone apps already being visited hundreds of millions of times annually by movie fans, AMC Theatres is in a unique position to promote specific movies with greater personalization than has ever been possible before,” said Adam Aron, CEO and President, AMC Theatres.

There are already dozens of streaming services that will rent you movies, and the ability to “promote specific movies with greater personalization” probably isn’t all that appealing for most people. But if you go to an AMC theater regularly, it might actually be worth using over the services that are already out there.

Why rent movies through AMC Theatres On Demand?

For one, AMC can potentially use its relationships with studios to make movies available earlier than other services. “AMC has agreements with every major Hollywood studio to make selections of their movies available for digital rental and purchase, including both new release and popular catalogue movies,” AMC’s press release reads. But this is true for almost every rental service, with theatrical windows set by each studio across the board. It’s unlikely that AMC will get early access.

Prices are typically the same across all rental services, too. Rocketman, for example, is available to rent in HD for $5.99 on AMC Theatres On Demand — the same as iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Instant Video and Vudu.

The carrot that AMC is offering? Rewards through its Stubs program. When you rent or buy a movie through AMC, you’ll get the same points you’d earn if you bought a movie ticket — $5 in rewards for every 5,000 points you accumulate, and 20 points for every dollar spent. Premiere ($15/year) and A-List (price varies, but around $20/mo.) membership increase those rewards to 100 points per dollar spent.

It’s not the most generous rewards program — it’d take 50 $5 movie rentals to earn $5 in rewards for Stubs members — but moviegoers already loyal to AMC might find it worthwhile.

In addition to the Stubs rewards, AMC is also allowing users who rent or buy their first title from Lionsgate or Paramount to pick an additional three movies from that studio for free.

Which streaming devices does AMC Theatres On Demand work with?

Unfortunately, the list of streaming devices that support AMC Theatres On Demand is pretty short. You can only use it with a Roku and certain “Smart TVs” right now, as well as a web browser or AMC’s Android and iOS apps. We’ve reached out to AMC about which smart TVs it works with, but haven’t yet received a response.

The bottom line

For most people, the rewards from the new AMC streaming service probably aren’t enticing enough on their own to switch from their rental service of choice. But if you’re already an AMC Stubs member, it might be worth making the move — especially with AMC’s “rent one, get three free” promotion.

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