Sunday, 09 December, 2018

WarnerMedia Launching Direct To Consumer Streaming Service Next Year

REUTERS  Mario Anzuoni  File REUTERS Mario Anzuoni File
Adrian Cunningham | 11 October, 2018, 08:58

The CEO also said the content spend at Warner Media would be "competitive" to that of Netflix, which now stands at $2.5 billion and $8 billion, respectively, according to wide reports.

The new streaming service will combine content from across HBO and Warner properties, potentially making it into a formidable streaming service. Now is a standalone streaming service for HBO content.

HBO was planning to expand its content footprint even before AT&T completed its acquisition of the network's parent company, said HBO's CEO and chairman, Richard Plepler.

The news of AT&T's streaming service comes as Apple is ramping up its efforts to create a streaming service too with its own original content. Apple now has over 20 television shows now in the works, though it hasn't revealed how it plans to distribute them. It sounds like most of the content will come from Time Warner. Netflix has a major head start in the streaming game, with services like Hulu, Amazon Prime, and YouTube TV slowly attempting to catch up.

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There's no early word on how the platform might be priced, nor on how WarnerMedia can successfully negotiate its way through the huge number of existing cable agreements that give third-party networks the rights to feature numerous movies that may one day find a home on the new service. Some of the TV shows produced by Warner such as The Big Bang Theory are also in negotiations to be added to the new streaming service. Ironically, negotiating terms with CBS would give WarnerMedia a distinct advantage over CBS's own All Access streaming platform.

On the heels of its DC Universe platform, WarnerMedia has announced plans to launch its own streaming service in late 2019. "So, it will be a priority to work with our partners to deliver a compelling and competitive product that will complement our wholesale distribution, allowing us to reach the largest number of viewers".

Stankey also said that the service, which has no price yet, will be more expensive than HBO's premier tier plan.