AMC Theatres is okay with you not going to the movies—provided you rent from its own streaming service instead. The new AMC Theatres On Demand service is yet another store for renting and buying movies on streaming devices, with a similar catalog to existing stores such as iTunes, Amazon Video, and Walmart’s Vudu.
Yes, that means you’ll still have to wait for movies to leave theaters before you can watch them at home.
The difference-maker, according to the theater chain, is its AMC Stubs loyalty program, which has 20 million members. The company told the New York Times that it will email those members to promote new streaming releases, and those who rent from AMC Theaters Video On Demand will get reward points that they can use toward theater snacks or membership upgrades.
Overall, the strategy sounds similar to that of Redbox, which has tried to offset the DVD’s decline by streaming movies on demand and tying them to its existing loyalty program. But AMC may also run into the same problem: Streaming devices such as Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV already have their own rental stores built in. Convincing users to download another app for essentially the same content—let alone rent them in the first place in the age of subscription services such as Netflix—could be an uphill battle.