WarnerMedia’s streaming service is likely to be called HBO Max. The new service has yet to announce its exact launch date, but so far we do know that it is set to arrive at some point in 2020. At present it remains one of the biggest upcoming media conglomerates with plans to launch its own subscription-based service.
With so many new streaming providers attempting to get the upper hand in what many have dubbed the streaming wars, WarnerMedia has been playing it cool, displaying a strong sense of confidence in the lead up to its launch. Formed just last year after AT&T purchased Time Warner and all its subsidiaries, WarnerMedia hasn’t appeared to be intimidated in the least by the sheer magnitude of competitors like Netflix, Amazon Prime or Disney’s upcoming streaming service, Disney+. In fact, WarnerMedia head Bob Greenblatt has previously stated that HBO programming (which WarnerMedia controls) is “the best television on earth.” Past and present programing such as Game of Thrones, Barry and Westworld might just lead many to agree.
As WarnerMedia’s streaming service moves ever closer to its eventual release, however, an exact name has yet to be settled on. Other competitors have favoured a very simple plus at the end of their company name, such as Disney+ as well as the upcoming Apple TV+. With the streaming wars heating up, a proper brand name is key to gaining the attention of potential customers. Now thanks to TV Line, we know that the frontrunner for WarnerMedia’s service name will be HBO Max.
It makes sense that HBO Max would be the favored name, given Greenblatt’s previous emphasis on both the quality and durability of the HBO brand. Having gotten in a rather strange dig about Netflix being the place that viewers can go to get anything, Greenblatt is more interested in the fact that HBO is intended to be a very specific network, providing programming that looks and feels as though it has a special and unique seal of quality. At present, the name is not set in concrete, but WarnerMedia does have access to a variety of programming aside from HBO, such as Cinemax and past hit sitcoms like Friends, The Big Bang Theory and Seinfeld, meaning that another name could still pop up at some point. Still, even with the familiar content as well as a host of planned original programming, HBO does hold a certain lure that’s very capable of drawing in subscribers.
Although HBO has produced more than its share of extremely popular programming in the 40 years during which it has existed, the astronomical success of something like Game of Thrones does not happen as frequently as is necessary to compete with a service like Netflix. The popularity of Netflix may currently rest in licensed programming, but that appears to be changing at a rapid rate and as Netflix loses some of its most valuable licenses, it continues to evolve, never content to rest on past public perceptions of what it is or can be. This is something that Greenblatt may want to consider as HBO Max attempts to stake its own claim in the subscription-streaming service landscape.
Source: TV Line