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AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan Believes Acorn TV Has Lowest Subscriber Churn in the SVOD Market

Stephanie Sengwe

Unlike most media companies, whose goal has been to cater to every demographic that can be found under one household, AMC Networks has differentiated themselves by launching streaming services geared toward a specific audience—horror/ mystery buffs. The model has worked well for the company as services such as Shudder and Acorn TV have continued to show exponential growth.

However, as with any other service, the question of subscriber retention is sure to come up. During their Q3 2020 earnings call this morning, AMC Networks CEO Josh Sapan revealed that when it comes to Acorn TV specifically, the company is not too worried about losing subscribers as the streamer’s viewers are there to stay.

“Acorn, which is British oriented, has a vast and deep library and a wide range of materials we can license. At the same time, Acorn has been a vigorous co-producer of material in the U.K. and around the world. It happens to have the among lowest subscription churn of any subscription service in America. That includes the biggest ones,” Sapan stated.

“That’s a function of the dedication and affinity that people feel with the material. Part of it is demographics—its skews somewhat older—and although it’s somewhat program dependent, steady stream availability and opportunity for people to watch the type of content they want gives it this very low churn.”

The company also revealed that they are pleased with how all their SVOD services are performing. AMC Networks stated that they expect Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and UMC streaming services to
exceed four million subscribers by the end of the year. With the addition of their new AMC+ premium SVOD service, they expect to have between five to five and a half million total SVOD subscribers, in aggregate, by the end of the year.

Though they did not reveal any updated numbers on Acorn TV today, the service was last reported to be at over a million paid U.S. subscribers. In April, AMC Networks took Acorn TV to the UK. The service, brought world class dramas, mysteries and comedies from around the world to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland for £4.99 GPB per month or £49.99 per year and runs without advertising.

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