Introducing HBO Max, the subscription service WarnerMedia is hoping you’ll want instead of the half-dozen other services available today and the half-dozen new services coming over the next year. I’ll understand if you aren’t throwing stacks of money at your screen right now.
WarnerMedia announced HBO Max this morning. When it launches sometime in the spring of 2020, you can expect it to include movies from Warner Brothers and New Line Cinema. It will also include TV shows from DC Entertainment, CNN, HBO, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and Crunchyroll. The service’s library will include exclusive rights to Friends, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and Pretty Little Liars. There’s also an upcoming slate of original programming on the way for subscribers too.
All this content is all well and good, but three things about the announcement bug me. First and most importantly, we don’t know how much HBO Max will cost. That just wreaks of some pitchman in a boardroom trying to build artificial hype for a service we won’t see for a full year.
Second, this is a real line from today’s press release: “Anchored with an inspired by the legacy of HBO’s excellence and award-winning storytelling, the new service will be “Maximized” with an extensive collection of exclusive original programming.” When those in the know about media are already worried about you’re beating a beloved brand to death, capitalizing on that brand to build another streaming service ain’t the best look.
Nice try with that original show by Julian Fellowe’s from Downton Abbey, though. You guys almost had me.
I should say, a decade ago, people would have killed for a direct relationship to their favorite channels. All people did was talk up how much they’d like to support their favorite networks instead of paying for cable.
As with that second Timbaland album, be careful what you wish for.