AMC Networks Starts AVOD Push by Featuring Shows Like The Walking Dead Free on Pluto TV

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AMC Networks is starting to roll out its new AVOD strategy—part of this year’s upfront messaging—and will be featuring several of its shows including the hit series The Walking Dead on Pluto TV’s free, ad-supported streaming platform beginning Friday.

Pluto TV will debut four new channels May 1 devoted to AMC Networks programming from AMC, IFC and WE tv. It’s the first of four AVOD platforms that AMC Networks plans to partner with in the coming months to reach users of these free, ad-supported services.

Stories by AMC will include past seasons of The Walking Dead, what it is calling “select seasons” of Ride with Norman Reedus and The Making of the Mob, the full runs of Halt and Catch Fire, Hap and Leonard, and Into the Badlands. Shows like Fear the Walking Dead and Preacher will join in the coming months.

Slightly Off by IFC will include Portlandia, Documentary Now!, Brockmire and Comedy Bang! Bang!

All Reality WE tv will feature Kendra on Top, L.A. Hair and My Fair Wedding.

A fourth channel, The Walking Dead en Español, will showcase Spanish-dubbed episodes of The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. Reality programming and Spanish-language Walking Dead episodes will also be available on watch on demand on Pluto TV.

Free ad-supported streaming is an emerging category that gives us the ability to complement the content offerings of our linear networks and other new platforms in ways that serve viewers and advertising partners—all part of our strategy to make our content available to as many people as possible in a rapidly evolving media environment,” said Joshua Reader, president of distribution and development for AMC Networks, in a statement.

This kicks off the new AVOD strategy featured in AMC Networks’ upfront messaging, which Kim Kelleher, president of commercial revenue and partnerships, detailed for Adweek last month.

While most of its rivals are creating their own SVOD streaming services, AMC Networks is taking the opposite approach, and plans to partner with four AVOD streamers—Pluto TV, Tubi, Amazon’s IMDb TV and NBCUniversal’s Peacock—to feature its original shows. Those other three deals are expected to close in the coming months.

“We’re going to put our content in as many places as our viewers are consuming it. The expectation of them just continuously coming back to us is unrealistic,” Kelleher told Adweek. “Bringing the advertisers and the marketers along with us to those platforms is very much part of the strategy.”

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