The upcoming streaming service from WarnerMedia will reportedly cost $16-17 and will include HBO and Cinemax in a bundle. Announced in 2018, the project is one of the upcoming player in the competitive streaming platform business that is currently dominated by Netflix. The subscription service will also feature content from TNT, TBS, Adult Swim and more, ensuring that they have more than enough material to entice more customers.
The rise of streaming platforms has significantly shaped the way people consumed media. As it rose in popularity through the years, evidenced by Netflix's success not just in North America, but also in countless foreign territories, entertainment companies have begun to develop their own respective services that would exclusively offer their content. Much of the focus has been on Disney's upcoming subscription service Disney+, especially with their long library of IPs to offer that has just become longer thanks to their acquisition of Fox's TV and movie assets. However, with more details emerging for WarnerMedia's plan to compete in the VOD ring, they're starting to prove that fans ought to also keep an eye on their in-development streaming platform.
Wall Street Journal, citing sources that have personal knowledge of the matter, reveals some interesting tidbits about AT&T's WarnerMedia's subscription video-on-demand service, including its pricing which will likely be around $16-17 a month. That would include an HBO and its sister company, Cinemax bundle alongside its vast Warner Bros. TV and movie library. No word yet for the official name of the WarnerMedia streaming service, but it's expected to make its beta form debut in the fourth quarter of the year. The cost is significantly higher than WarnerMedia's competitors like Netflix ($12.99), Showtime ($10.99) and Hulu’s VOD packages ($5.99-11.99). It's also double the price of Disney+ introductory rate of $6.99.
WarnerMedia's unnamed SVOD may sound too expensive especially considering the pricing of other players, but it's only a bit costlier than HBO Now, which already retails for $14.99. Looking at all the additional content that subscribers are getting on top of HBO shows, it doesn't seem like too much of an increase. Last month, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson emphasized their diverse portfolio that will have something for everyone. Aside from blockbusters such as Aquaman, A Star Is Born, and the Harry Potter franchise, popular sitcoms such as Friends, Seinfeld and the recently-concluded The Big Bang Theory will also be available through the SVOD. On top of that, classics such as Casablanca, Dial M for Murder and My Fair Lady will also be accessible. No word yet how DC Universe fits in all this, but it's not outside the realm of possibility that it also gets consolidated with the rest in the SVOD.
Depending on how WarnerMedia strategizes their content management for their streaming service, the public could actually be more inclined to sign up for it despite its steep pricing. Looking at the IPs they have at their disposal, they have countless cult favorite shows and movies in their roster especially since they plan on bringing a lot of their licensing right back. HBO has already made a name for itself for its original programming with shows like Game of Thrones and the ongoing Chernobyl, ticking that box for the upcoming SVOD. Then again, it's safe to reserve judgement until the platform is up and running. In the meantime, fans need to start recalculating their streaming service budgets and decide which platforms they'll sign up for and which ones they'll forego.
Source: Wall Street Journal