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Premium Streaming Subscription Service EPIX Is Now MGM+
From:
Kathleen Greenler Sexton --- Subscription Expert Kathleen Greenler Sexton --- Subscription Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Boston, MA
Monday, January 16, 2023

 

Yesterday Amazon rebranded EPIX, MGM’s streaming platform, as MGM+. The premium streaming subscription service will include a wide range of premium content including everything from original series and documentaries to new releases and classic films. In addition to new offerings, popular content includes Top Gun, Helter Skelter, NFL Icons, No Time to Die, House of Gucci and Licorice Pizza. MGM+ is available in the U.S. on television through participating cable providers, via satellite, on-demand, online and across devices.

“MGM+ will continue to be available nationwide through cable, telco, satellite, and emerging digital distribution channels, as well as through its MGM+ app, providing more movies than any other network with thousands of titles available for streaming,” says the MGM+ Corporate’s “About MGM+” page.

Amazon acquired MGM for $8.45 billion in March 2022. The deal included a catalog of more than 4,000 films; 17,000 television episodes; 180 Academy Awards; 100 Emmy Awards; movie franchises including James Bond and Rocky; and classic movies like Thelma & Louise, The Silence of the Lambs, The Magnificent Seven and Legally Blonde.

“It’s a new beginning for our service, as we introduce MGM+ and its distinctive brand promise to viewers on January 15,” said Michael Wright, head of MGM+, in Amazon’s January 10, 2023 announcement. “MGM+ will deliver on its iconic and beloved studio legacy, with cinematic, sophisticated, and transportive storytelling that audiences love.”

New releases coming soon

Highlights MGM+ subscribers can anticipate in the coming months include:

  • Season Three of Godfather of Harlem (release date: January 15)
  • Murf the Surf, a true-crime docuseries (release date: February 5)
  • A Spy Among Friends, a six-episode series (release date: March 13)
  • FROM, a contemporary sci-fi horror film (release date: April 23)
MGM+ movie posters for Murf the Surf, Godfather of Harlem, Rogue Heroes and Blumhouse's Compendium of Horror
Source: MGM+

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MGM+ originals

In the rebranding announcement, Amazon shared a sneak-peek into some MGM+ originals currently in development:

  • American Classic. Starring Kevin Kline as a Broadway star and narcissist, this half-hour comedy is about a man trying to save himself, his family, and his hometown by putting on a show.
  • Ark. This futuristic series is set in 2030 and is based on the books by Stephen Baxter.
  • Billy the Kid, Season Two. Inspired by the infamous outlaw Billy the Kid, Season Two is a romantic adventure where Billy and his gang fight rivals while Billy tries to keep his soul and the love of his life intact.
  • Earth Abides. Based on George R. Stewart’s novel, this series begins after the human race is almost completely wiped out after a plague. Those who remain must fight to survive in violent fashion or face extinction.
  • The Devil Within. This four-part, true-crime docuseries tells the story of the murder of Betty Ann Sullivan during the Satanic Panic. Set in a small town, this murder mystery evolves into a paranormal mystery.
  • San Francisco Sounds. Music lovers will enjoy this two-part documentary about the San Francisco music scene from 1965 to 1975.

Subscription details

MGM+ is a premium subscription service with ad-free viewing. There is no long-term commitment though annual pricing is available. Subscribers get access to unlimited streaming, they can download content to watch offline, and MGM+ is available on a range of devices including iOS devices, Android, Amazon Fire TV Roku, and more.

MGM Plus Subscribe Page shows two pricing plans: $5.99 a month after a 7-day free trial or $49.99 for 1 year (limited-time offer).
Source: MGM+ Subscribe Page

Insider Take

Though MGM+, formerly EPIX, is an Amazon-owned premium streaming subscription service, it is not free to Amazon Prime members. To get access to MGM+ content, viewers must subscribe to the premium service. MGM+ is priced the same as EPIX at $5.99 a month without ads.

Why the new name? Branding. As someone who covers and subscribes to (many) streaming subscription services, I did not know much about EPIX. The limit of my knowledge is that when I spoke “Netflix” into my Xfinity cable remote, EPIX would come up in error, displaying a message that this was a subscription service, and I had to sign up to watch. By rebranding EPIX to MGM+, the streaming subscription service will have much greater brand recognition and the backing of a deep catalog of content.

From the perspective of a premium streaming subscription service, this is a smart play. As the streaming space gets more crowded, brand recognition, affordable pricing, and quality, exclusive content are key to attracting and retaining audiences. This is also a way for Amazon to keep revenue streams separate. Rather than absorbing MGM’s content into its Amazon Prime Video catalog, where it would not earn extra money, Amazon continues the separation at the same price but under a name subscribers will recognize.

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