WarnerMedia's new streaming service will be called HBO Max
WarnerMedia has revealed the name for its Netflix rival. WarnerMedia's new streaming service will be called HBO Max.
HBO Max enters the streaming wars officially. It will be available in the spring of 2020. Here's what makes it different. The service is highly-anticipated, and it will be fascinating to see how WarnerMedia (similar to Disney) integrates all its franchises.
Here are some details from WarnerMedia's press release:
Global Powerhouse “Friends”; future Hits from The CW Network including “Batwoman”; Original Movies from Greg Berlanti and Reese Witherspoon; and Fan Favorites “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and “Pretty Little Liars” will Stream on HBO Max.HBO Max brings together HBO, a Robust Slate of New Originals, and Programming from Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes and More to offer Something for Everyone in the Home
WarnerMedia is promising an impressive direct-to-consumer service in HBO Max. Featuring Max Originals and the extensive libraries and beloved brands of WarnerMedia.
Here are some of the deals that were announced for HBO Max today.
The exclusive streaming rights at launch to all 236 episodes of Friends — one of the biggest hits on television and in streaming.
The exclusive streaming rights at launch to all episodes of fan favorites The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Pretty Little Liars.
The exclusive streaming home to a string of new Warner Bros.’ produced dramas for The CW beginning with the fall 2019 season, including the highly-anticipated new DC Entertainment series Batwoman and Katy Keene (a spinoff of Riverdale).
New exclusive movie production deals with Greg Berlanti, one of Hollywood’s most prolific and successful producers, and Reese Witherspoon, Academy Award® and Emmy Award®-winning actress and producer; Berlanti will produce an initial four movies focused in the young adult space, while Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine will produce at least two films
So, some major takeaways right out of the gate is Netflix loses Friends. Netflix paid $100 million for the rights of Friends through 2019. WarnerMedia is paying $85 million a year for Friends. The overall deal is five years for $425 million. WarnerMedia outbidded Netflix for their own show.
Netflix loses The Office to NBC's new streaming service, which most of the details on that are a mystery, and Friends to WarnerMedia's HBO Max. Not a good round for Netflix in the streaming wars.
HBO Max is scheduled to launch in spring of 2020. Later than its previous impossible end of 2019 launch date. HBO Max will premiere with over 10,000 hours of premium content.
“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,’” said Bob Greenblatt, chairman, WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-To-Consumer. “Under the leadership of two of the strongest creative visionaries — Casey Bloys (HBO) and Kevin Reilly (original content and acquisitions) — and two of the most experienced digital experts — Tony Goncalves and Andy Forssell — I have no doubt they and their dedicated teams will deliver the world’s best storytelling to audiences of all ages wherever and whenever they want it.”
Here are the announced Max Originals for the service:
“Dune: The Sisterhood,” an adaptation of Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson’s book based in the world created by Frank Herbert’s book Dune, from director Denis Villeneuve.
“Tokyo Vice,” based on Jake Adelstein’s non-fiction first-hand account of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat starring Ansel Elgort.
“The Flight Attendant,” a one-hour thriller series based on the novel by Chris Bohjalian, which will star Kaley Cuoco, who is also executive producing alongside Greg Berlanti (who holds a TV record with 18 series on the air).
“Love Life,” a 10-episode half-hour romantic comedy anthology series starring “Pitch Perfect” star Anna Kendrick, who will also executive produce alongside Paul Feig.
“Station Eleven,” a postapocalyptic limited series based on Emily St. John Mandel’s international bestseller, adapted by Patrick Somerville and directed by Hiro Murai.
“Made for Love,” a 10-episode, half-hour, straight-to-series adaptation based on the tragicomic novel of the same name by Alissa Nutting, also from Somerville and directed by S.J. Clarkson.
“Gremlins,” an animated series from Warner Bros. Animation and Amblin Entertainment based on the original movie.
Now this is just specific HBO content that has been announced for 2020 and 2021. These shows will be available through regular HBO and/or HBO Max.
Stephen King’s “The Outsider,” a dark mystery starring Ben Mendelsohn, produced and directed by Jason Bateman.
“Lovecraft Country,” a unique horror series based on a novel by Matt Ruff, written and executive produced by Misha Green, and executive produced by Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams.
“The Nevers,” Joss Whedon’s new science fiction series starring Laura Donnelly.
“The Gilded Age,” the opulent world of 1885 New York from “Downton Abbey’s” Julian Fellowes.
“Avenue 5,” high satire aboard a space-bound cruise ship from Armando Iannucci (“Veep”), starring Hugh Laurie and Josh Gad.
“The Undoing,” a psychological thriller from David E. Kelley, directed by Susanne Bier starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant.
“The Plot Against America,” reimagined history based on Phillip Roth’s novel written and executive produced by David Simon and Ed Burns, starring Winona Ryder and John Turturro.
“Perry Mason,” the classic legal drama for a new generation, executive produced by Robert Downey, Jr. and Susan Downey, with Matthew Rhys in the title role.
“I Know This Much Is True,” a complex family drama starring Mark Ruffalo playing twin brothers, one of whom has schizophrenia, based on the best-selling novel by Wally Lamb, written and directed by Derek Cianfrance.
Casey Bloys, programming president of HBO, will continue to oversee the content of the HBO service increasing the investment in HBO Originals to 50%. Kevin Reilly, president of Warner Media Entertainment Networks, that include TNT, TBS, and truTV, also serves as chief content officer of HBO Max overseeing all new Max Originals and library content. Tony Goncalves, CEO of Otter Media, now oversees the development of HBO Max with Andy Forssell, also from Otter Media and formerly CEO of Hulu, as the general manager.
“What I’ve always loved about creating shows that connect with a young audience is that these fans grow up with the programs and will remember them for the rest of their lives. Now I get to do even more of that for HBO Max, where viewers will be able to discover shows on their own time, in their own way. Like any great novel, these shows will be there waiting for you. As a fan, what I’m personally most excited to watch on the service are all the great Warner Bros. movies that affected our entire culture and changed the way we live.” said Greg Berlanti, who will be producing and creating series for HBO Max.
George R.R. Martin is also hoping his Game of Thrones prequel ends up at HBO Max, he siad. “Back in 1991, after a decade in television, I began writing a series of novels that I knew would never be filmed. A GAME OF THRONES and its sequels were too big, too complex, too dark, too sexy, with a cast of thousands, gigantic battles, massive castles, direwolves, ice wights, and dragons. Too sprawling for a feature film, too expensive for television. I should have remembered, ‘It's not television, it's HBO.’ Working with HBO during the past decade has been a dream come true. What they did could not be done, but they did it anyway. And now they are embarked on a new venture. No, they won't be tying their shows to the legs of ravens as I suggested... instead they are launching an exciting new streaming platform that will carry all the great HBO programming around the world... classic old shows and thrilling new shows, including (I hope) a return to my world of Westeros. Sign me up!" The entire Game of Thrones series will be streaming on HBO Max.
Here is the sizzle reel for HBO Max, featuring all of WarnerMedia's biggest brands everything from Game of Thrones to the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
HBO Max will include HBO, new Max Originals, Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, and Looney Tunes. Along with series like Sesame Street, The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, and Friends. Not to mention WarnerMedia's massive exclusive deal with J.J. Abrams. HBO Max will have a lot to offer but it will come at a cost.
HBO Max is rumored to cost $17 per month. This is higher than HBO NOW and Disney+, which rolls out in November. The pricepoint will be fascinating to see play out. Even with the HBO subscriber base built into this service.
HBO Max joins the competitve streaming wars that feature Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Hulu and Disney+, and in late 2020 NBC Universal enters the arms race with The Office.
HBO Max launches in Spring 2020. Follow Cultjer for more updates on the streaming wars.