AMC Networks interim CEO Matt Blank, who runs the company behind networks AMC, IFC, and the Sundance Channel, as well as niche streaming services like horror-centric Shudder, doesn’t take much notice of the noise on Wall Street these days.
After Netflix disrupted its streaming space by announcing a loss of 200,000 subscribers last quarter, Blank insisted Wall Street watchers were likely taking a more realistic view of the media business. “We like this more rational conversation,” Blank told the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit during a webcast session.
“The good news from some of these noises is that everyone is going to start looking at the business side of streaming. It’s not just about how big your subs are, how big the TAM (total addressable market) is. I think the financial world paved the way for some of those crazy valuations out there. And as things come back to earth a little, I think there’s an opportunity for us not to be washed by the same cloth,” he added.
As Blank reiterated that AMC doesn’t compete directly with entertainment and streaming giants as it pursues a differentiated, targeted streaming strategy, he said the key to streaming success is setting a goal, ignoring market noise and just to push forward. He added that financial markets have not differentiated and judged competing streaming services as a business except based on the number of subscribers they signed up as a sign of future profitability.
Netflix’s stumble could be AMC’s win, he added. “This is an excellent environment for us. And we are not changing our strategy. We can’t change our tactics based on what’s happening with another company in a given quarter or how the financial markets are reacting to it,” Blank told investors.
The AMC interim chief scoffed at the financial markets for potentially ruining one of the most successful entertainment companies of all time, Netflix. “Suddenly Netflix is done. We don’t need to worry about that. We can just do what we’re good at and keep investing in content and investing in those audiences and investing in AMC+ and this business will grow.”
He also scoffed at the idea of Netflix introducing ads as a solution to that company’s woes, but didn’t rule out AMC having commercials during its programming. “We’re continuing to evaluate it… We don’t have any plans at the moment. We’re not saying we won’t. But there are many questions out there. Our services are relatively cheap,” he said.
Blank also argued that consolidation in the streaming space will continue, but the potential for media giants to acquire other media giants is limited. “The goals are getting smaller and smaller, we’ll see what happens,” said Blank.