WarnerMedia has been looking to name it’s streaming service for quite some time now and that happened today with the announcement of HBO Max, a new service that the company promises HBO, a robust slate of new originals, and programming from Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes and more.
One of the series recently announced, Gremlins is part of the new originals that the company has announced, however, it doesn’t sound like Metalocalypse is anywhere near a renewal, so it sounds like the company is still hashing out what the hell it wants to put on the service and what it doesn’t. However, we have bigger fish to fry before we even get to talking about content.
As of now, Rooster Teeth, Crunchyroll, DC Universe, and others all have independent streaming services and DC Universe is already getting reports of struggling to pay for its originals. And let’s not forget about the fact that there is already an HBOGo, HBONow, and a MAXGO streaming/TV on-demand service which could complicate things when marketing this thing. Somehow marketing, and I can tell you first-hand WarnerMedia marketing/PR is a mixed bag in terms of its a willingness to provide simple marketing requests, is going to have to make sure would-be subscribers know the difference between all services. Moreover, we have a VRV service where subscribers already get Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, and Boomerang content along with Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, and others. Questions will need to be answered as to what the future of VRV will be.
Here’s what we think is going to happen: WarnerMedia has noted that HBO MAX will likely have some sort of tiered offering with a rumored $17 offering being the end-all-be-all and then, similar to VRV, see smaller packages based on interests/demographics/etc. Maybe they do a “pick any five networks and it’s this cost, this number of networks it’s this”, this way the streaming service can bring down some of the rates and be more competitive with base offerings from Hulu and Disney+ with each have rates under $10 /month and are just as competitive in terms of content (I don’t give a fuck about Friends). I’m also expecting original content from the streaming service to get the second window opportunities on regular television much in the same way some of the Netflix originals are starting to pop up in other mediums i.e. home release, Comedy Central, etc.
Most, if not all, of the Otter Media streaming services are going to fold into one. Cuts will be made across the board in the areas of PR/administrative staffs/etc and AT&T is going to end up selling off DirecTV/NOW so as to just concentrate on HBO MAX. It will be telling to see just how nasty these streaming services get so as to gain your hard-earned dollars. Will AT&T phones slow down Netflix streams? Will Netflix soon diversify so as to maybe be a marketplace for gaming and music as well? Could original series once canceled by the aforementioned TV networks gain new-found fortune on HBO Max much in the same way Lucifer does on Netflix? We won’t know any of this until Spring 2020, until then, stay posted as we do further deep dives into the incoming wave of streaming platforms.