HBO Max, AT & T & # 39; s big step in streaming, will be launched in May 2020 for $ 14.99 per month, the company announced during a special event for investors. A layer supported by advertisements will be launched in 2021.
The price level makes it one of the most expensive in the changing streaming landscape. Apple TV Plus costs only $ 4.99 a month, while Disney + costs $ 6.99 a month. AT&T is in a difficult place. HBO Now, the other HBO brand streaming service, costs $ 15 a month. These are approximately the same costs as the channel via cable packages.
Randall Stephenson, CEO of AT&T, teased the importance of today's event that took place yesterday on the iconic Warner Bros. site in Burbank, California. Stephenson called the streaming service "very different from anything else you've seen in the market so far," and added, "This is not Netflix. This is not Disney. This is HBO Max."
The presentation of HBO Max today is also designed to put investors at ease. AT&T has received anger from investors who have punished the decision to spend more than $ 85 billion on acquiring Time Warner (now WarnerMedia) just a few years after spending $ 67 billion to buy DirecTV, a service that customers now bleed. Investment firm Elliott has sent the company a letter Call to AT&T to get rid of unnecessary business weapons. The investment firm noted that the AT&T acquisition of WarnerMedia did not seem to make any sense.
While HBO Max is entering an increasingly busy market, Stephenson said the HBO brand is already differentiating service from its competitors. Stephenson added that at the level of the market where the company intends to play, it is not that busy & # 39 ;.
HBO Max is ready to launch with an impressive number of titles for customers. Unlike HBO Now, there will also be a substantial focus on children's programming and less prestigious but still incredibly popular series. friends and The big bang theory will both stream exclusively on HBO Max, as well as new episodes from Sesame Street (switching from the traditional HBO broadcast channel), although those episodes will eventually find their way to PBS. The entire Studio Ghibli library will also live exclusively on HBO Max. Not to mention, the streaming service will play home to show reboots like Gossip Girl, originally broadcast on the CW – a network co-owned by WarnerMedia. That does not take into account older WarnerMedia series for which the company has streaming rights and will add for customers.
Unlike HBO Now or Disney +, HBO Max is a more general entertainment player – even if Stephenson is said to use the term "general" in everything that has to do with HBO. The new streaming service is designed for everyone, which does not necessarily apply to HBO Now (usually adults) or Disney + (usually children, and Marvel or Star Wars fans). HBO Max must appeal to a wider audience to be able to scale up at the speed that AT&T is looking for. Stephenson told investors about yesterday's profit call that HBO Max is expected to reach 50 million US subscribers by 2024.
All this means that HBO Max will introduce a lot of content as quickly as possible. AT&T invests heavily in HBO and increases the number of shows and films it produces by 50 percent. The company does not yet have a full launch list – Disney + comes with nearly 1,000 titles when it is released on November 12 – but expects more information closer to the official launch of HBO Max.