On Tuesday, Warner Media CEO John Stankey announced the details behind his company’s upcoming streaming service HBO Max. In a presentation to investors that included a slew of other announcements, he revealed that the new platform would roll out in May of next year, and run $15 per month for subscribers.
The service will enter the fray of what could be described as a war between streamers. Once the province of established subscription services like Netflix and Hulu, the streaming world will soon contain offerings like Apple TV+, Disney+, and NBC’s Peacock. Both Apple TV+ and Disney+ are scheduled to debut on November 1st and November 12th, respectively, while Peacock will hit the market in April of next year.
HBO Max’s price point is high compared to other services, costing even more than Netflix, which runs $13 per month. Disney+ and Apple TV+, on the other hand, will run at a fraction of HBO Max’s price, costing $6.99 per month and $4.99 per month, respectively.
Warner is seeking to justify the higher cost by offering something that its competitors aren’t. While Apple is seeking to enter the market with nothing more than a slate of originals, and Disney will rely solely on its own library of content in tandem with new shows, HBO Max has been robust in its efforts to acquire third party shows to add to its platform. At the same event on Tuesday, it was announced that the platform had won the bidding war for South Park’s library of past episodes. As was rumored, the price tag for such an acquisition was $500 million. The network has also acquired the rights to Friends and The Big Bang Theory. Per The Hollywood Reporter, HBO Max’s content library is expected to carry a $4 billion price tag through 2022.
— HBO (@HBO) October 30, 2019
In conjunction with these third party titles, the service will also pull from other Warner properties, inheriting HBO’s library of content and a slew of Warner-produced movies and shows. Several new originals have also been confirmed, including Grease spinoff Rydell High, a Gossip Girl reboot, Ansle Elgort led series Tokyo Vice, and a reboot of Adult Swim’s The Boondocks. Both The Boondocks and Gossip Girl originally aired on Warner-owned networks for their initial run, but are migrating to the forthcoming streaming service for their return.
HBO Max is scheduled to debut in May of next year for $15 per month.