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Even with The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul and Killing Eve all ending their runs this year, Dan McDermott, president of AMC Studios and entertainment, still said this will be the biggest year for original content in the history of AMC Networks.
As for how the network will replace the departing series, McDermott, who was speaking at the network’s 2022 summit in Brooklyn, said when he started the job in 2020, he drew upon the company’s existing resources to find the next big hit.
“One of the things that we had was the Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles library of 18 books. That’s obviously a very rich universe,” he said.
In addition to Interview With a Vampire, which has already been renewed for a second season, the network will be premiering Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches in 2023. McDermott also highlighted the network’s sci-fi Moonhaven streaming title, with Dark Winds, a crime thriller set on a Navajo reservation, and comedy sci-fi series Demascus also promoted at the event.
There are still several spinoff series of The Walking Dead planned, and McDermott said content from the franchise will continue to be a key part of the streaming platform’s offerings.
“What we’ve learned from having the streaming platform for two years is that the core, dedicated passionate fan base for Walking Dead content is very, very much still engaged,” he said.
When it comes to streaming, everyone used to be concerned about streaming subscriber numbers, but now the focus is on monetization, he said.
McDermott made the case for AMC in that profit-focused environment, saying that the network’s linear channel, as well as its paid subscriber channel and FAST channels, allows it to window its content, and therefore monetize it at a higher level than, say a pure-play streamer such as Netflix, which McDermott used as an example with its popular, non-windowed Stranger Things series.
That being said, McDermott also said the company still expects to grow its subscriber numbers to 20 million to 25 million by 2025 and then 40 million to 50 million in the years following. With a smaller subscriber base than other streamers, McDermott said AMC positions itself as appealing to one core demographic, rather than offering a wide breadth of offerings.
“Our value proposition is that we do one thing and we do one thing really well: that’s premium, marquee content for adults,” McDermott said.
Asked how AMC decides which content to feature on which platform, McDermott said the company has a “bespoke” windowing strategy, in that the network decides show-by-show what to feature on each platform. That can also include co-premiering shows like Interview With a Vampire on both AMC and AMC+.
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