HBO Max's chief is taking aim at Amazon for their decision not to have the app on Fire devices. Jason Kilar sat down with Bloomberg and told the publication that the fact of HBO Max not being available on Fire Sticks lays at the feet of the tech giant, not their company. When asked what they could do about it, he quipped, "Call the Seattle folks." But, that wasn't the only explosive statement the executive was ready to make. "If Amazon were truly focused just on the consumers with Fire devices, HBO Max would be on Fire devices. The consumer wants it." Those are some strong statements from Kilar, but the head of WarnerMedia raises some very legitimate points when it comes to how these platform holders operate when they are also pushing their own streaming services.
"When economies and industries are sitting on a digital foundation, what tends to happen is the concentration of successful companies unlike anything history has seen. We have fewer companies but larger companies," he said. "I think you nailed it when you said that some companies are conflating their interests with statements about consumer focus. What you see is a lot of decision-making in the interest of the company as opposed to taking a breath and being focused on the consumer."
As the interviewer pressed on how the issue would get resolved and what time it would see some resolution, offered some optimism.
"My mother always considers me a very optimistic person. The optimistic side of me says it will be," Kilar cracked. "As we head into the fourth quarter, when gift-giving happens, it becomes a more material situation for a seller of hardware. There are alternatives in Google Chromecast and Apple TV."
When it comes to the idea of "too many streaming services, the WarnerMedia chief sees that problem resolving itself over time.
"Take a look at the past 40 to 50 years in media, and I'll focus on the U.S. There's been an explosion of content offerings: from three and four channels to 800 in terms of pay-TV. And yet what you see is there are four really big ones — maybe five or six — that account for a lot of the value," Kilar observed. "I think you'll see the same thing happen here. There will be more than 800 streaming services. There will be thousands. But there will be five or six, maybe a little less or more, that will account for the majority of mind share."
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