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AT&T COO: HBO Max Is ‘Deeper’ Than Disney Plus, New Streaming Service Will ‘Appeal’ to the Entire Family

Stephanie Sengwe

At the heart of the streaming wars is the question of which service will be diverse enough to gain the most subscribers and compete with Netflix in the long term. Media companies have spared no expense, spending billions of dollars on generating new content. Of the new streaming services that have come out so far — Apple TV+ and Disney+ — the latter has proved to potentially be Netflix’s biggest competitor.

Well, it seems AT&T president and chief operating officer John Stankey believes their upcoming offering, HBO Max, is even better than Disney+. During the UBS Global TMT Conference today, Stankey argued that unlike Disney+, which has a very targeted audience, HBO Max will have content for the entire family.

“Disney+ is a good product, they’ve done a nice job … The strongest appeal of Disney+ is to the youth of the family. It’s strength as a product to satisfy the other members of the family is not that deep. There’s some stuff that’s interesting to adults in the offer, and there’s stuff that’s probably interesting to your 20-something or 30-something-year-old members of the family, but it’s not all that deep in that regard. Max is,” Stankey said.

Unlike Disney+, which is a recognized family-oriented brand, HBO Max will be able to offer content suitable for every family member. Stankey explained, “Max is a product that appeals to the entire family and the family wireless plan. It’s something that every body in the family looks at and says, ‘That has something in it for me … I see myself in that offering.”

Because the HBO brand has also been recognized for primarily creating content for adults, he assured listeners that AT&T has been making a conscious effort to create content suitable not only for children, but teens as well. “HBO Max will have strong animation — kids and family-oriented content — so there’s stuff in there for the youth. And, most importantly, we are spending time in that middle area … making sure that there’s a good, stable offering in the late teenage, 20-something-year-old segment.”

HBO Max will launch in May 2020 for $14.99 a month — the same price as HBO Now. The service will be free for AT&T customers, who are HBO subscribers. In addition to a host of originals, HBO Max will be the exclusive home for “Friends” and “The Big Bang Theory.”

They also have exclusive rights to “Sesame Street,” bringing the franchise’s entire 50-year library to a streaming platform for the first time; they also secured the U.S. streaming rights for Japan’s Studio Ghibli and have ordered two unscripted kids competition series — “Karma” and “Craftopia.”