Before long, HBO Max will hit streaming devices, bringing with it the massive, ever-growing library belonging to WarnerMedia. Leading the charge at WarnerMedia is chief John Stankey, an executive who's putting most of his focus on the company's new SVOD service. Part of the focus means checking up on the competition to see how they're doing leading the executive to take to one recent speaking engagement to congratulate The Walt Disney Company on its recent launch of Disney+.
“[Disney] did a good job, good for them. They’re off to a good start. Obviously, we start with a little different position with a different product, and we’d like to see as many HBO customers migrate as possible, Stankey said at Recode's Code Media conference on Monday (via Variety.)
The executive then brought up the company's reported 10 million first-day subscribers, seemingly turning a colder shoulder in the process. “The bigger trick here for most of these streaming services is how many of those 10 million customers are there in 6 months?” Stankey added.
Throughout his chat, Stankey repeatedly mentioned how WarnerMedia will hopefully redirect customers from the company's current streaming offerings in HBO Now and HBO Go to HBO Max as it works towards launch next May. When it does launch, HBO Max will carry a monthly price tag of $14.99, one of the spendier services currently available in the marketplace. To settle some debate, the company announced it'd introduce a more affordable ad-supported version of the platform in May 2021.
As you know by now, streaming is now the hottest thing in entertainment. Netflix content boss Ted Sarandos was at speaking engagement last week where he wondered why it's taken so long for studios to get on board with the content delivery method.
“[I'm] frankly surprised it took Disney and other people this long to go down this path. It’s a hard change," Sarandos said. “These companies that have been built on making and selling content to other people, can they actually make more money or do better in business selling it directly to the consumer? … It’s a hard bet, and it’s a bet-the-farm one.”
Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for WarnerMedia