WarnerMedia revealed more details regarding their upcoming streaming service, HBO Max, and threw a ton of shade at Netflix and Disney+ in the process. The streaming service will feature HBO’s entire library, including a slate of original content as well as movies from Warner Bros.’ extensive history. HBO Max understandably views Netflix and Disney+ as their biggest rivals and they want an edge up on their competition.
Apple TV+ is gearing up to launch on Nov. 1 and Disney+ will be right on their heels, debuting on Nov. 12. These, along with already established streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, seem to be crowding the market but that’s not scaring away any media companies. AT&T is throwing its hat in the ring with HBO Max and they are making every effort to publicize what makes their service stand out from the rest, even if that means pointing out their competitors’ biggest flaws.
AT&T held an HBO Max presentation in Burbank for their investors to provide details into the streaming services and their long-term aspirations. HBO Max will officially launch in May 2020 and cost subscribers $14.99 a month. In addition to debuting a sizzle reel that touched on all of the big series which HBO Max will stream including Rick and Morty, Big Bang Theory, and Friends, it was stated that the streamer will be home to the Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon. The executives also took time to jab on their rivals by claiming that HBO Max will have much easier navigation. It was stated that the content will be “curated by humans” rather than an algorithm in Netflix’s case.
In addition, HBO Max will focus on “quality over quantity” and vows to stay away from filler content. This statement could be viewed as shade towards Disney+ specifically due to the streaming service’s overwhelming content library that will consistently grow over time. Similar to Disney+, however, HBO Max will not be doing the “binge and burn” release method as opposed to Netflix. Many creators and viewers believe that releasing seasons all at once hurts the programs in the long run as the buzz dissipates so quickly. For now, HBO Max will stick to weekly episode releases for their original programming.
It’s not uncommon for executives at presentations like these to throw shade at their rivals. That said, it’s all smoke and mirrors until HBO Max debuts and makes good on their promises. It’s easy to say that the streaming service will stand out but it will be up to viewers to decide if that statement grows true. The success of HBO Max will ultimately depend on its content. Their library is already quite impressive but the original content will be the real deciding factor. When they do launch in 2020, other newcomers like Apple TV+ and Disney+ will have a big head start. They already have a lot of catching up to do with their various rivals.
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