Big entertainment brands are growing their subscription offerings in hopes of creating engaging relationships with their customers. AMC Theatres’ Stubs loyalty program, which has a subscription tier called AMC Stubs A-List that offers consumers up to three movies a week for a monthly fee, now counts over 18 million households as members in the United States. Considering that the average U.S. household has 2.6 people, the company claims that roughly 46 million members are tapping into its Stubs offering.
AMC said Stubs’ growth is driven by the perks that members receive through the program. Stubs A-List subscribers – along with its Stubs Premiere members – are entitled to discounts at the box office and concession stand as well as priority lines, among other benefits. And the theatre offers all tiers – including its free Insider tier – Ticket Tuesday savings, birthday gifts and complimentary refills on large popcorns, the kinds of perks or rewards that can positively influence the subscription experience. According to the PYMNTS Subscription Commerce Conversion Index, one quarter – or 25 percent – of the top 20 subscription plans in Q3 2018 offered rewards.
In an era when Netflix, according to one estimate, took in $86.6 million in mobile consumer spending in one month, AMC Theatres CEO and President Adam Aron said in a recent announcement, “the approximately 46 million American frequent movie-goers currently earning valuable AMC Stubs points allows AMC to generate attendance growth through highly effective targeted marketing.” He also said the company has “seen AMC Stubs continue to grow by millions of members each year without any slowdown, which is a testament to the program’s incredibly popular benefits and the quality of experience guests expect at AMC. “
AMC’s announcement comes only a few days after news surfaced that the stock market approved of Netflix’s biggest price increase in more than 10 years (the stock rose by some 6.5 percent). With the price changes, the company’s least expensive plan rises from $8 to $9 a month, while the standard plan increases from $11 to $13 a month. The company is raising the price of its premium plan as well, to the tune of $16 a month from $14.
According to some observers, Netflix can raise its price as long as it provides the kinds of entertainment that viewers value. BTIG Media Analyst Rich Greenfield told CNN Business, “If you keep adding more content that people like, then the price point is a moving target.” He did say that a monthly fee of $50 would not serve as a “compelling offer,” but it could possibly be the “right price” if the company had, say, the Major League Baseball and Monday Night Football contracts. And, in AMC Theatre’s case, the company offers a range of content, such as the “the latest Hollywood releases” as well as “independent programming,” according to a company press release.
Will those content choices and rewards keep the AMC Stubs program growing? For now, companies like Netflix and AMC Theatres are betting that those perks will help keep viewers hooked on their subscription offerings.