Netflix has been feeling the heat lately with new contenders such as Disney+, Apple TV+, HBO Max and Peacock joining the streaming wars, but now the biggest cinema chain in the world – AMC Theatres – has announced the launch of a streaming service.

In a unique move for a cinema operator, the company has revealed that members of the loyalty program will be able to rent or buy films, then watch them at home. There are currently over 20 million US households signed up to the AMC Stubs program, and they will be able to choose from a selection of 2000 films from all major studios.

As the service develops, it is said the company will expand to include films from AMC Networks’ AMCX, IFC Films and RLJE Films. Furthermore, AMC Theatres will be promoting select streaming services, such as Acorn TV, Sundance Now, UMC and Shudder. This marks the first instance of cross platform marketing between the companies.

Those signed up to the service will be able to rent or purchase films using either the AMC Theatres mobile app, Roku or smart TVs. Further services and devices are set to be added in the future.

AMC currently has agreements with all Hollywood studios which enable it to make certain films available for rent or purchase, and this includes new releases. Consumers will be able to earn Stubs points, which can be exchanged for rewards within theaters.

Chief Executive Adam Aron said: ‘With more than 20 million AMC Stubs households, and with our website and smartphone apps already being visited hundreds of millions of times annually by movie fans, AMC Theatres is in a unique position to promote specific movies with greater personalisation than has ever been possible before.’

This news will be another blow to Netflix’s position at the top of the streaming services pile. The media giant has seen its stock fall by 23% in the last three months ahead of its new competitors in the sphere. Apple and Disney are releasing streaming services of their own in November, both of which will offer cheaper subscription plans than Netflix’s current offering.

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