It looks like Disney is not the only player in the streaming service market, as Warner Bros. is the latest to launch a Netflix competitor.
Today WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey revealed the company's plan to utilize its vast library with a new streaming service. Stankey was speaking at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit when he revealed that the new service is aiming to be up and running towards the end of 2019, and will be fronted by HBO (via Variety).
Stankey also said that the service, which has no price yet, will be more expensive than HBO's premier tier plan. It is also expected to be comparable to Netflix's current spending on content, which will find a home somewhere in between $2.5 billion and $8 billion.
“This is another benefit of the AT&T/Time Warner merger, and we are committed to launching a compelling and competitive product that will serve as a complement to our existing businesses and help us to expand our reach by offering a new choice for entertainment with the WarnerMedia collection of films, television series, libraries, documentaries and animation,” Stankey said.
Starting the service is not going to be cheap, but AT&T is planning ahead for that according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
“We expect financial support to launch this product to come from a combination of incremental efficiencies within the WarnerMedia operations, consolidating resources from sub-scale D2C efforts, fallow library content, and technology reuse,” AT&T said in the filing. “We expect to defer some licensing revenues to later periods in the form of increased customer subscription revenues.”
Warners is just the latest to choose this route for their content, as Disney is launching its streaming service in 2019 as well. Disney will start featuring its movies exclusively on the service starting with Captain Marvel, as deals with Netflix and the like expire. Whether Warner Bros. will go a similar way remains to be seen, but it probably will.
Stankey wants the service to be like “a collection of boutiques that meet your particular needs, but all have an understood level of quality.”
Going this route is awfully popular these days, as other services like DC Universe, CBS All Access, Disney's Streaming Service, and now WarnerMedia aim to compete with services like Netflix and Hulu while also taking advantage of their in-house IP.