AMC Networks Reports Decline in Ad Revenue, Focuses on Streaming Growth

AMC Networks Reports Decline in Ad Revenue, Focuses on Streaming Growth

AMC Networks, known for cable channels like AMC, IFC, and Sundance TV, as well as streaming services such as AMC+, Acorn TV, and Shudder, reported a 13 percent drop in first-quarter U.S. advertising revenue, following a 23 percent decline in the fourth quarter of 2023.

After returning to streaming subscriber growth in the third quarter of last year following two quarters of declines, the company added 100,000 subscribers in the first quarter, bringing the total to 11.5 million by the end of March, compared to 11.4 million at the end of the previous year and 11.2 million at the end of March 2023.

In the first quarter of 2024, AMC aired original series such as “The Walking Dead: The Ones Who Live,” starring Andrew Lincoln and Danai Gurira. The company’s ad revenue decreased to $140 million in the first quarter due to linear ratings declines and a challenging ad market, partly offset by growth in digital and advanced advertising revenue. Affiliate revenue fell by 14 percent, primarily due to basic subscriber declines.

Under the leadership of CEO Kristin Dolan, AMC Networks has been focusing on data-led audience targeting for ad buying as marketing dollars shift from linear TV networks to ad tiers offered by streaming platforms. Dolan commented earlier this year, “It’s a huge opportunity to finally swing the pendulum back from digital-first to shared purchase of traditional television as well as digital to support the advertiser efforts.”

Dolan took over from Christina Spade in early 2023 after a cost-cutting program, including layoffs, was announced in late 2022.

Dolan stated on Friday, “In the first quarter, we continued to execute on our strategic priorities, including the ongoing delivery of healthy free cash flow. As new technologies transform the way media is consumed, we continue to produce great content and make it available to viewers whenever and wherever they want to watch. We recently strengthened our balance sheet by completing a series of financing transactions that meaningfully extended our debt maturities. This creates substantial flexibility for us as we continue to leverage our core strengths and reorient our business around the consumer-driven changes that are happening across the industry.”

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