We’ve been hearing for months now about an upcoming streaming service from the folks over at WarnerMedia and today, it was officially named: HBO Max. Rather than this being a separate streaming service, it looks more to be an extension of an established HBO brand.
In some ways, this makes sense given the ties that are there between HBO and Time Warner. Yet, it’s also a risk. When the services launches (a date is to be determined), it could prove interesting since it looks to be an extension of everything HBO has already. Purchasing HBO NOW on its own is not altogether cheap. Adding to it may further perplex consumers in the midst of an escalating a-la carte streaming battle. Eventually, it could be getting more expensive to keep Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, HBO Max, and some other streaming providers than just a standard cable subscription.
So what makes HBO Max special? Here’s some of what WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer Chairman Robert Greenblatt (formerly at NBC) had to say:
“HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform … HBO’s world-class programming leads the way, the quality of which will be the guiding principle for our new array of Max Originals, our exciting acquisitions, and the very best of the Warner Bros. libraries, starting with the phenomenon that is Friends.”
Sure, having Friends as a tentpole for a new service is smart, but it’s a series that millions already have seen on Netflix over the years. It will also have at launch exclusive streaming rights to The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Pretty Little Liars, and will be the streaming home for Batwoman and Katy Keene, two of The CW’s upcoming series. Consider this a sign that eventually, all of The CW’s Warner Brothers-produced shows could land on HBO Max as opposed to Netflix. There are a lot of different shows that could land here in due time — take, for example, The Big Bang Theory, one of the other biggest comedies of all time alongside Friends.
There are some original programs in the works for the service, including a Gremlins prequel and The Flight Attendant, the next series starring Kaley Cuoco following her time as Penny on Big Bang Theory.
In the end, our feeling on HBO Max is this — it’s an exciting opportunity to deliver more programming to streaming consumers. If you already have HBO proper, this could prove to be a bargain. However, depending on the price point it may be a costly endeavor unless you can eventually have some of the new programming without the stuff over at HBO included.
What do you think about HBO Max, now that we know what we do?
Be sure to share in the comments, and also come back soon for some other news. (Photo: HBO.)