UMC, AMC Networks’ streaming service focused on blackout television and cinema, will be renamed AllBlk in January as AMC Networks further shifts its niche streaming strategy.
UMC, which stands for Urban Movie Channel, will expire for AllBlk in the first week of January. The rebranding, which also includes an update to the user interface and a new “feel” to the service, will come with the release of several new original series about the service.
“As our SVOD services continue to build a loyal subscription base, it is extremely important to establish strong brands that are tailored to the targeted interests of our viewers,” said Miguel Penella, SVOD president of AMC Networks, in a statement. “UMC’s rebranding as AllBlk speaks to the need for curated entertainment experiences that are immersed in authenticity and geared towards the interests of black Americans, especially the black female audience.”
The planned rebranding follows a change in leadership at the top of the service. Brett Dismuke, Chief Content Officer of UMC, was promoted to General Manager of UMC and cable channel We TV last week and will be responsible for the strategic direction of the streamer and the cable network.
In a statement, Dismuke said the rebranding was necessary to help the service, which costs $ 4.99 per month, better display its programming offering to new and existing subscribers. I
“Since I first stepped on board in January 2019, the service has seen significant growth, reflecting the need for a new brand identity that is aligned with how extensive our content and viewership has grown,” said Dismuke. “As we redesign our brand, our commitment to providing a home for black creatives in front of and behind the camera to find opportunities and tell compelling stories remains constant. As we enter a new era of diversity and reflection in the entertainment industry, we are excited to see audiences experience what will soon be AllBlk. “
The changes at UMC are due to the fact that AMC Networks is developing a streaming strategy that complements the extensive cable portfolio and in many cases works hand in hand with it. AMC Networks’ streaming resources include AMC-centric streamer AMC +, horror streamer Shudder, UK TV streamer Acorn, film-centric Sundance Now and UMC.
Unlike many other media companies looking to set up general-purpose streamers, AMC Networks has instead operated “targeted” services, which the company says have a combined 4 million subscribers. This year, AMC Networks also significantly expanded the availability of AMC + by making it directly available to consumers for the first time. The company expects to end the year with a total of 5 to 5.5 million streaming subscribers to AMC +.
“While we are still in the early stages of growth, our progress so far supports our belief in the potential of these specialized SVOD offerings,” said Josh Sapan, president and CEO of AMC Networks, in November to investors.