Welcome to “The Streaming Wars,” where we outline the top stories in television streaming from the past month. With new platforms and shows being announced every day, it can be hard to keep track of everything that’s happening in the world of television streaming. We’re here to give you the breakdown of who’s making deals and making moves.
This month: Disney+, Quibi, and Peacock expand their lineup of shows, and we finally talk a little about HBO Max.
Disney+ Is On A Quest for Reality Content
Just a few days ago, Disney+ announced its new lineup of reality TV shows coming to the platform. One of the most talked-about series in the bunch is the reality game show The Quest, a fantasy-themed competition that actually has a scripted fantasy storyline in the middle of real, unscripted competitions. All of the announced reality series are in development, and release dates for the shows have not yet been announced.
The “Littlest Streamer” Is Getting Pretty Big
This past month has seen a huge increase in the number of shows announced at Quibi. For those of you still out of the loop, Quibi is the upcoming short-form streaming venture from Jeffery Katzenberg that will be bringing 10-minute-or-less content straight to your phone for your morning commute. The current projected cost of Quibi is about $5 per month with advertisements or $8 per month for the premium ad-free service. The service is scheduled to launch in April. A TON of new shows have been announced for the platform, including a revival of Punk’d with Chance the Rapper, a comedy series titled Florida Man, and a celebrity reality series from Adam Devine. You can see a full list of series being developed for Quibi here.
Peacock Finally Shows Its Feathers
Speaking of platform lineups, NBCUniversal’s upcoming streaming service Peacock recently released its full slate of shows that will be available when the platform launches. The platform will have key series from NBC’s television library including Parks and Rec, The Office, and Will and Grace, as well as a number of original series including reboots of Punky Brewster and Battlestar Galactica. You can view the whole list here. Peacock will be included for free for Comcast and Cox subscribers, whereas non-subscribers will pay about $5 per month for the service with ads and $10 per month for the service with no ads.
We Should Probably Talk About HBO Max, Right?
Among all the newly announced streaming services, HBO Max is probably the one we’ve talked the least about on this site. We should talk about it, right? Are you all cool with talking about it for a bit? Well, as Vox Critic at Large Emily VanDerWerff notes in this tweet, explaining HBO Max can be a little difficult:
The degree to which Peacock can more or less explain what it is, while HBO Max continues to fumble that very basic question is super interesting!!
Like I more or less understand HBO Max, but I’m paid to understand it. Most consumers are not.
— Emily VanDerWerff (@tvoti) January 16, 2020
So, here’s the simplest possible breakdown of HBO Max:
Provided By: AT&T’s WarnerMedia
When it Launches: May 2020
What it Will Cost:
HBO Max will be free for AT&T customers who are already subscribed to HBO. Some of AT&T’s unlimited plans will also get access to HBO Max for free. HBO Max is also going to be available as an add-on for these streaming services:
- Netflix = $13 per month
- Hulu = $6 per month, or $12 per month without ads
- Disney+ = $7 per month or $70 per year
What it Has: About 10,000 hours of content, including the much-coveted Friends, which Netflix paid about $100 million to stream for one additional year. Some other highlights include The Big Bang Theory, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and South Park. You can view a more comprehensive list of what will be available on HBO Max here.