WarnerMedia to launch OTT service HBO Max in May 2020

MUMBAI: US and global media conglomerate WarnerMedia will launch OTT service HBO Max on 20 May 2020 with 10,000 hours of content for $14.99 a month.

This is its direct-to-consumer strategy and the announcement was made on the company’s Warner Bros. lot. It revealed the offering of programming options, product features and functionality, and its go-to-market plans.

The company is targeting 50 million domestic subscribers and 75-90 million premium subscribers by year-end in 2025 across the U.S., Latin America, and Europe. On the content front, the company has announced a 10-episode ‘Games of Thrones’ spin-off ‘House of the Dragon’.

“With this entire company coming together, we will have one of the most robust collections of premium streaming content that will appeal to all demographics in the household, and be able to achieve incredible scale and reach right out of the gate. We couldn’t achieve this without AT&T’s unprecedented and enthusiastic support. When you live in a world with ‘dragons’ — it feels very good to have one of your own in the game!” said WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer chairman Robert Greenblatt.

Within the first year of launch, WarnerMedia plans to expand the service to include an AVOD option, offering consumers access to even more content, with more flexibility to manage the overall price value options on the platform.

The company also announced plans in the future to provide subscribers with unique live, interactive and special event programming as it continues to build out and differentiate HBO Max.

AT&T intends to expand HBO Max beyond the U.S., initially prioritizing Latin America and Europe where the company currently has ownership interest in or operates premium HBO networks, and has over-the-top services.

AT&T intends to invest in HBO Max, with an incremental investment of $1.5 to $2 billion in the partial year of 2020 and continued investment in following years. That investment includes spending for new content, foregone licensing revenue of our content, operating expense for the technology platform, and marketing.

“To build, launch and grow the best streaming platform available requires a major investment and total support. We’re making that commitment and putting the strength of our entire company behind this,” said AT&T COO, WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey.

At launch, AT&T will immediately offer HBO Max to the roughly 10 million HBO subscribers on AT&T distribution platforms, at no additional charge. HBO Now direct-billed users who subscribe directly through HBONow.com will also have access to WarnerMedia’s HBO Max product. AT&T customers on premium video, mobile and broadband services will be offered bundles with HBO Max included at no additional charge. We are in active discussions with our distributors and look forward to offering their customers seamless access to this great product.

“We’ve positioned HBO Max in a way that makes sense for our Company, our distribution partners and our customers. We are creating a company-wide ‘membership-model’ that taps into AT&T’s 170 million direct-to-consumer relationships, 5,500 retail stores, and 3.2 billion annual customer touchpoints to achieve scale and reach at launch,” said Otter Media CEO Tony Goncalves.

HBO Max will launch with 10,000 hours of curated premium content including the entire HBO service, bundled with new HBO Max Originals that expand the breadth of the offering targeted at young adults, kids and families.

HBO Max will pull from WarnerMedia’s deep library of fan favorites in its 100-year content collection, including library content from Warner Bros., New Line, DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes and more. HBO Max will also offer a robust selection of the third party acquired series and movie titles that will rival any other streaming offering in the marketplace.

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