HBO Max streaming service will be launched May 27, AT&T WarnerMedia announced Tuesday, signaling that the so-called streaming war will not recede due to the coronavirus pandemic
NEW YORK –
The HBO Max streaming service will be launched May 27, AT&T WarnerMedia announced Tuesday, signaling that the so-called streaming war will not recede due to the coronavirus pandemic.
WarnerMedia had previously said HBO Max would debut in May, and stick to the plan on Tuesday, even if some planned programming had been delayed because of the outbreak.
HBO Max will be one of the most expensive streaming services, priced at $ 14.99 per month. But WarnerMedia expects an in-depth library of HBO hits, including “Game of Thrones” and “Succession”; DC Comics blockbuster films such as “Wonder Woman” and “The Dark Knight”; and press TV shows including “Friends” and “South Park” will be enough to captivate viewers who are facing a storm of streaming choices.
The new original programming will also be part of HBO Max, although the special reunion of “Friends” which has been postponed has been postponed by the pandemic. Among the new offerings: “Love Life,” a comedy with Anna Kendrick; “Legendary” underground ballroom dance competition series; New “Looney Tunes Cartoons” and Sesame Workshop “The Not Too Late Show with Elmo.”
WarnerMedia said it would direct a number of films directly to HBO Max. The first is the documentary “On the Record,” about women accusing hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons for sexual violence and harassment. Simmons has denied the allegations. Shortly before the premiere of the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, former Oprah Winfrey executive producer, along with Apple TV Plus, canceled the film.
“I was knocked out by the breadth and depth of our new offer,” Robert Greenblatt, chairman of Warner Media Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer, said Tuesday in a statement.
AT&T is eyeing HBO Max to reach 80 million customers worldwide and 50 million in the United States by 2025. (HBO currently has around 35 million subscribers.) Netflix, the leader of streaming, has 167 million customers worldwide. In about six months since it was launched, Disney Plus has gathered more than 50 million customers, far ahead of Walt Disney Co. projections.
It is not clear whether the time was with help or hurt HBO Max. While the number of viewers is jumping across all streaming services with so many quarantined in their homes, a record increase in unemployment will make the higher HBO Max costs a barrier for some people.
More and more streaming options, including Apple TV-Plus and Quibi, have just been launched. In July, NBCUniversal will debut Peacock, a streaming service that is planned to offer free advertising support options.
HBO Max will feature around 10,000 hours of programming, drawing from the WarnerMedia brand including the Warner Bros film and TV studio; Turner networks include CNN, TNT, TBS, Turner Classic Movies and Cartoon Network; and others. AT&T will hope to attract more than 100 million cellular customers and increase previous customers. Those who subscribe to HBO through AT&T’s DirecTV, U-Verse and AT&T TV will get HBO Max for free.
Before the launch of HBO Max, WarnerMedia shuffled its executive list and appointed former Hulu CEO, Jason Kilar CEO.
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