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WarnerMedia CEO Says HBO Max Will Be a Content Bundler, Reaggregator

Fern Siegel

WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey outlined his plans for HBO Max at an industry conference in Los Angeles yesterday. His goal is to bundle content, including movies and shows not owned by WarnerMedia, along with content it creates and licenses.

Commenting on the current streaming rivalries, he noted: “We’re basically unbundling to rebundle. At some point, there will be platforms that re-aggregate and rebuild. … We’d like HBO Max ultimately to be a place where re-aggregation occurs.”

Conversely, Disney+, Hulu, Apple+ and Netflix create and sustain new subscriptions. Stankey said this causes “frustration” among users. He thinks a better strategy is a new kind of TV bundle versus “fragmentation,” Recode reports.

AT&T (WarnerMedia’s parent company) is investing $4 billion into HBO Max, which debuts in May 2020 for $15 a month.

To secure a built-in audience, AT&T premium video, mobile and broadband packages will offer bundles at launch, with HBO Max included for free. Plus, existing HBO subscribers on AT&T (an estimated 10 million) and HBO Now direct-billing subscribers get it free, too.

WarnerMedia will need to make deals with cablers that handle HBO subscriptions to promote the streamer.

Still, AT&T projects HBO Max to hit 50 million subscribers by 2025. It will debut with about 10,000 hours of content, including movies, 50 originals and classic TV shows like “Friends” and “South Park.” At launch, the film “Joker” will also be available.

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