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AMC Networks launches 'Yeah' movie-streaming network

The cable TV network decides to focus on cult classics with established fan bases, and to set its service apart by offering bonus features such as exclusive interviews with filmmakers.

An introductory video for the new Yeah video-streaming service features actor-director Kevin Smith. Screenshot by Donna Tam/CNET

For those who like watching their favorite flicks over and over again, AMC Networks has launched a movie-streaming service, Yeah, that runs new bonus material alongside cult classic movies.

AMC, which launched the pay-per-view service at South by Southwest Interactive today, is jumping into a crowded, and competitive, video-streaming market. Big players like Amazon and Netflix fight for fresh content constantly. Meanwhile, content producers stream their shows directly, as with HBO Go, or cut deals with other established streaming services.

But Yeah has decided to go in another direction: older movies with established fan bases. General Manager Lisa Judson said the service's bonus features, such as interviews with filmmakers, set it apart.

"We're different because we curate our content with original facts and quizzes and exclusive interviews that we produce," she said. "What we do is try to tell a story."

AMC Networks, which owns and operates AMC, IFC, Sundance Channel, WE tv, and IFC Films, hired a team of directors to curate the bonus material, which Judson said is "a meaningful story behind the story." Curators spend two months working on each film's added features.

It's like they created a special features DVD for popular films and then put it online. Judson said you'll be able to toggle to the content as it plays alongside the movie, and you can toggle it on or off. Each film costs $5 each, and viewers will have a month to watch it. Once they start watching, they'll have 48 hours to access it.

The streaming service is starting with "Child's Play," "Scream," "Reservoir Dogs," "The Terminator," "A Nightmare on Elm Street," "Clerks," "Natural Born Killers," "Hannibal," "Jackie Brown," "The Crow," "The Exorcist: Director's Cut," and "From Dusk Till Dawn." Additionally, "Blade Runner: The Final Cut" will become available tomorrow, and "Pulp Fiction" will go live next week.

Judson said the company plans to have a library of 50 to 60 videos by the end of the year, including "Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2," "Kill Bill," "Watchmen," and "This is Spinal Tap." For now, you can stream a larger collection of movies without the extras. Yeah charges $2 to stream movies without the bonus footage and provides a link to places to buy the DVD.