Guest Kristin Dolan, CEO of AMC Networks, explores the dynamic trajectory of AMC Networks. Kristin shares her expertise in navigating the ever-changing media landscape by utilizing new technology, data, and information to engage diverse audiences through innovative distribution methods. Gain valuable perspectives on the challenges posed by content saturation and the influence of consolidation on media brands.

Discover the success of the “AMC+ Picks on Max” programming experience, an impactful marketing partnership that not only commanded viewership but also fueled acquisition on AMC+. Join Kristin as she provides a sneak peek into the thrilling future of AMC Networks amid the ever-evolving media landscape.

Read a few highlights from the Q&A below.

Vicki Lins: What are the things you’re focusing on these days to optimize the business so that you can ensure that it’s well positioned for potential partnerships, future investments, growth, or whatever the future path may bring?

Kristin Dolan: There are three things:

  • Programming, continuing to create, curate and create amazing content, strong distinct brands in our five linear channels and our seven streaming services.
  • Our partnerships are a key piece of what we do as a smaller operator and a pure-play programmer. And this is going back through my history–there are so many people that I still work with, and I’ve known for 25, 30 years. So, it does make it really easy to pick up the phone and get creative in this crazy world that we’re living in right now.
  • And then the third piece is profitability. We’re a small but mighty company. We have positive cash flow; we’ve had a strong history, and we have some great library titles and franchises that we want to continue to optimize as well as continue to create new content.

It’s the programming, partnerships, and profitability we’re focused on across the board.

Vicki Lins: Why don’t you lay out the world at AMC networks for us a bit?

Kristin Dolan: We have five linear networks: AMC, WE tv, BBC America, Independent Film Channel and Sundance. Then we have our streaming services: AMC+, Sundance NOW, IFC, Shudder, and AllBLK is designed for Black women predominantly but also Black audiences. Then we have HIDIVE, an anime service. And Shudder, if it’s not self-explanatory, is horror. We have 19 FAST channels on nine different partner platforms, and they comprise basically 90 feeds of live television across the FAST universe in the States. We’re very well distributed and have distribution in northern Europe, the UK, Iberia, Portugal, Spain, and Latin America. We’re domestic, international, and in North America.

Vicki Lins: Could you talk to us about your data background and how you are applying that to your evaluation of today’s businesses and where you’re driving the business?

Kristin Dolan: Data applies in so many different areas. I can start with advertising.

AMC Networks is far along in its advanced advertising, including national addressable. We’ve just started doing programmatic advertising, another approach that allows informed decision-making and data to drive the placement of media and outcomes. That’s a big piece of data. But then again, going back to the operating front, looking at customer experience, customer journey, call center, and handling time… That type of data also helps drive decisions we might make in the product area.

If we see that customers are having challenges navigating a particular UI for one of our streaming services, or they’re calling a lot about a particular presentation of a title, or they can’t find it or things like that, then we can use that data to drive different decisions on how we go to the market.

Another big thing with the customer lifecycle is understanding the subscription model. When do people come on? What are our subscriber acquisition costs? How long do they stay? When do they churn? Why do they churn? Taking as much information as we can to create more customized sensitivity models with business intelligence gives us predictive analysis around churn. What does an ideal churn model look like? What can we anticipate? How can we reimagine our approach to the marketplace to make sure that we’re optimizing our retention opportunities and minimizing our churn? It’s all data all day long.

Listen to the entire interview with Kristin Dolan on CTAM’s Thinking Out Loud Podcast episode #50.