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AT&T enters SVOD fray with HBO Max

WarnerMedia’s new SVOD service HBO Max is launching in the US today, entering a crowded marketplace where it will have to compete with established providers such as Netflix and Disney+.

The platform offers more than 10,000 hours of content from across Warner’s hefty content library from the likes of Warner Bros., New Line, DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth and Looney Tunes.

The slate at launch includes Anna Kendrick-starring scripted comedy Love Life, feature documentary On The Record, underground ballroom dance competition series Legendary and unscripted series Craftopia Sesame Workshop’s The Not Too Late Show With Elmo.

Also included are all 12 seasons of hit comedy The Big Bang Theory and the full run of classic sitcom Friends. However, the highly anticipated Friends unscripted reunion show won’t be available at launch due to its production being halted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Viewers will also gain access to more than 20 seasons of The Bachelor and its spin-offs The Bachelorette, Bachelor Pad and Bachelor In Paradise, at launch, along with international remakes from the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

And in an unexpected move, Warner Bros. also recently announced that the much-hyped (and long thought fabled) ‘Snyder Cut’ of director Zack Snyder’s 2017 film Justice League will come to the service next year.

Customers who subscribe to HBO through AT&T will be offered HBO Max at no extra charge while customers on select AT&T wireless, video and internet plans will have HBO Max included. Other AT&T customers will be able to access a one month free trial and bundling offers for the streamer, which will cost $14.99 per month.

Users of HBO’s existing HBO Now service will also receive a free upgrade, but only if they are billed directly through HBO rather than through a third party such as Amazon Prime or Apple.

This subscription strategy is an attempt to maximise HBO Max’s chances of fast success in the domestic US market, at a time where Netflix is making record gains and Disney is going from strength to strength with Disney+.