HBO Max News

Discussion in 'Internet Streaming Services' started by techguy88, Nov 13, 2020.

  1. Feb 21, 2021 #61 of 143
    techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't be surprised if all the Cinemax Originals eventually are added to HBO. I do think the pandemic is a factor for the shift. It will be interesting to see what happens to Cinemax in the future.
     
  2. Feb 22, 2021 #62 of 143
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    These Cinemax Originals are listed inside the HBO Max app as HBO titles. But when you look at the full list of series at HBO.com, Warrior and C.B. Strike are badged as Cinemax Originals with the note "Streaming on HBO Max" underneath. (The Knick and Banshee aren't even listed there yet.)

    Stream & Watch HBO Series Online | HBO

    Are these Cinemax Originals airing on any of the HBO linear channels or available via HBO OnDemand on MVPD-supplied STBs? It looks to me like they're only inside the HBO Max app (as well as still being on Cinemax, of course).
     
  3. Feb 22, 2021 #63 of 143
    techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

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    CB Strike had its most recent season transmitted on linear HBO on a weekly basis then the episode was added to HBO Max. The Cinemax Originals on HBO are also available on demand for MVPD & vMVPD. However on-demand in general does lag behind the HBO Max app in terms of updates. These programs are also available through Prime Video Channels, Apple TV Channels and The Roku Channel with an HBO or Cinemax subscription. The HBO website is now geared to push people to HBO Max at every possible chance so that is why it says "Streaming on HBO Max".

    Essentially anything under the HBO brand hub or tagged "HBO" on HBO Max is available on demand for MVPD/vMVPDs and can be shown on linear HBO. For grandfathered HBO Apple TV Channels & The Roku Channel subscribers the content is available there. It is also available to Prime Video-HBO subscribers. (Prime Video will cease selling HBO as a channel to new subscribers later this year.)

    This is how shared content between Cinemax & HBO looks on Prime Video Channels
    0031e334afa85914e729ae65d274198c.png
     
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  4. Mar 12, 2021 #64 of 143
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Well, I'm surprised at the news coming out today about the cheaper, ad-supported HBO Max tier that will debut in June:

    “The main difference will be with the theatrical premieres,” Kilar said of the new, lower-priced tier. Only those paying for the ad-free, top tier will continue to have access to day-and-date premieres of Warner Bros movies. “Everything else will be the same,” he said, reaffirming that HBO original series will not carry ads.
    I expected that the cheaper tier wouldn't include those new day-and-date WB film releases but I am surprised that it will include all of HBO ad-free. And apparently it does. Kilar affirms that (as I expected) HBO Originals will always be ad-free. But he seems to indicate that the cheaper tier will include all the same content that the current tier has except for the theatrical WB premieres given that "Everything else will be the same."

    They didn't reveal the price for the upcoming ad-supported tier at today's event. But given that the current ad-free tier is $14.99, the new tier wouldn't seem to matter a whole lot unless it's $9.99/mo or less. I mean, I guess it could be around $12 but that wouldn't seem like enough of a difference to matter.

    So let's say the new ad-supported tier will be $9.99/mo and have all of HBO ad-free while all the non-HBO content (except maybe children's content like Sesame Street, etc.) contains ads. That's quite a deal considering that just HBO alone as of a year ago cost $15/mo!

    Consider also that probably about half of HBO subs in the US still haven't activated their free access to the HBO Max app -- these are largely older viewers who are content just watching the core HBO content via their cable box. The rest of the HBO Max catalog, the non-HBO stuff, is exclusive to the app. It seems to me that there's a risk that many of those folks, if given the option, would just switch to the cheaper ad-supported version of HBO Max to pay 1/3 less, $10/mo instead of $15. Why not? They'd still get all the HBO content they care about ad-free.

    In order to control that risk, I wonder if Warner won't sell the cheaper tier via their cable TV partners. So if you want HBO on your cable box, you have to go with the $15/mo version. Perhaps the cheaper tier will only be sold directly by Warner (via website sign-ups) with them handling the billing and getting all the revenue. But then they miss folks wanting to sign up for it inside the app, where billing would be handled by Apple, Google, Roku or Amazon. Would Warner distribute the cheaper tier through those digital partners but not through their traditional MVPD partners too? It'll be interesting to see how it plays out.
     
  5. Mar 12, 2021 #65 of 143
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Don't be.

    This can become the new "freebie" and will generate a more stable cash flow. A $7.6 billion infusion from TPG won't put much of a dent in the $150 billion debt.
     
  6. Mar 12, 2021 #66 of 143
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Again, if the new tier includes all of HBO, still ad-free, and only has ads in the non-HBO part of the HBO Max catalog (which is about 55-60% of it, I think), and they charge $10 or less for this thing, that's a big devaluation of HBO. I mean, it's great for consumers. But HBO alone used to be $15/mo. And now they're maybe going to sell it for $10/mo and then add in a slew of additional ad-supported content for free (which viewers can easily avoid if they only want the ad-free HBO stuff)? That's aggressive but it may be what they need to do to grab market share.

    Meanwhile, consider that Showtime by itself costs $11/mo for their ad-free, but smaller and less acclaimed, catalog of premium content. To match what it appears Warner is going to do, they'd need to drop their price a bit and throw in the ad-supported basic tier of Paramount+ for free, all in one app.
     
  7. Mar 13, 2021 #67 of 143
    techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

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    Here are my thoughts on it the ad-supported tier with the information released today
    • Content: I expected the Same Day WB Premieres to remain exclusive to the $14.99 tier especially after they got so much blowback for the decision in the first place. They had to redo their contracts with talent, directors, crew, agencies, production partners etc. so they are spending way more than intended. They are also giving theaters more of the revenue from ticket sales for them to book the films. (This is the main reason Disney's Raya is not performing as well as Tom & Jerry.) If AT&T were to expand the availability of those films via a cheaper ad-supported tier then theaters wouldn't book the films.
      • I am surprised they included HBO programming commercial free in the tier as I thought they would use that as an up-sell for the $14.99 tier. However Paramount+ is streaming all their movies commercial free with only the TV shows having ads on their Limited Commercials tier. So in a way this could be seen as HBO Max's version of that.
        • I wouldn't be surprised for the films under the Max side to have around 180 seconds of ads pre-loaded at the beginning so they play without commercial interruption (similar to select films on Peacock.)
    • Features: I do not expect the cheaper ad-supported tier to include mobile downloads & 4K HDR/Dolby Vision since no other ad-supported tier of an existing service has those features. I know Kilar said "everything else will be the same" however I think he meant that in regards to programming only. I would suspect the ad-supported tier would be HD only with the $14.99 tier having 4K HDR/Dolby Vision.
    • Price: Kilar was a big part of Hulu and was around when their current model ($5.99 with ads or $11.99 without ads) was introduced. Since it is a $6 difference between the two tiers I'm estimating the ad-supported HBO Max tier would be $8.99/month (matching Hulu's price difference). While this would make HBO Max the most expensive ad-supported tier it would put it in line with Netflix Basic ($8.99/mo SD 1 stream). If they go lower than $8.99/month then MVPDs will sure be upset.
    • Distribution: I don't think much will occur here except the user can use in-app purchases for either tier. The only other change I expect is AT&T Wireless will add HBO Max (AVOD) to Unlimited Extra to stay completive with T-Mobile's Magenta plan which includes Netflix Basic.
      • MVPDs should be fine as long as there are selling points they can use. As long as HBO Max (Commercial Free) keeps premium features exclusive to it there shouldn't be an issue. Plus MVPDs can resell the value of linear HBO as a benefit to HBO Max.
      • The demographic they are targeting with the AVOD option are the group that are cord-nevers/cord-cutters but are price conscience. Subscribers via MVPDs are older and would be the most likely to stick with the current subscription even if they just watch HBO content.
    Going into 2022 I don't expect AT&T to keep the Same Day WB Premieres as they are most likely taking hits on each film. I would expect Warner Bros. to follow in Universal & Paramount's footsteps to shorten the theatrical windows with the option to send films to streaming after 17–45 days.

    Like looking at their 2022 film slate (so far) Sesame Street would be a good film for a 45 day exclusive theatrical run before going exclusively to HBO Max (Commercial Free) before it hits the Pay-1 window then would be on both HBO (linear/OD)/HBO Max (AVOD) + HBO Max (Commercial Free). It also would afford them the ability to keep big blockbusters like The Batman, the third Fantastic Beasts film and Aquaman 2 in theaters for a longer 90+ day runs if they have great legs before sending them to HBO Max (Commercial Free) before the Pay-1 window (that HBO has the rights for.)
     
  8. Mar 13, 2021 #68 of 143
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    I think HBO discovered that the $14.99 price was too high. I'm running on a $11.99 month-to-month plan currently and I expect that many others have dove in at under $12.

    The streaming model has really fouled the waters of series TV by creating a rift in the time synchronization of shows and I think HBO and their large library of serial shows is suffering because of it.
     
  9. Mar 13, 2021 #69 of 143
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Agree with most of your conclusions with regard to content and features. On price, yeah, the new AVOD version could be $8.99, could be $9.99. I doubt it falls outside that range. (As to your calculations based on the Hulu model, keep in mind that Hulu with ads was originally $7.99, just $4 cheaper than ad-free, before dropping down to $5.99. And also keep in mind that the entire non-kids TV series library in Hulu contains ads while a big chunk of it in HBO Max -- all those HBO Originals -- will still be ad-free.)

    On distribution, I tend to think that, if they allow MVPDs to sell the AVOD version of HBO Max, it won't include access to the HBO linear channels and on-demand library inside the provider's own UI. So no HBO channels in the grid guide. It would just be the app. This would incentivize those traditional HBO subscribers to stick with their current $15/mo subscription. (Some wouldn't know or bother to downgrade their subscription anyhow but I do think a fair chunk of them might figure it out and switch to the AVOD version to save $5-6/mo if it didn't change anything in terms of how they already watch and record the linear HBO channels on their cable box.)

    As for the WB theatricals released in 2022 and beyond, yeah, I think they'll mostly go back to being exclusive to theaters at first but for a shorter window. Some of the lower-to-mid-budget fare, such as indie-type dramas, might debut in limited theaters and on HBO Max at the same time, as Netflix and Prime Video have been doing for a few years now. Not sure, though, that I see the regular WB film releases coming to HBO Max for an exclusive period before then also becoming available on HBO (linear/on-demand) via the normal pay-1 window. I'd just think that the pay-1 window would start sooner (e.g. 45 days after the theatrical premiere) with the movie showing up on a Saturday night on HBO and HBO Max at the same time.
     
  10. Mar 13, 2021 #70 of 143
    lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Right now I see the current offering of HBO Max as more of a direct competitor to Netflix. Netflix has lots of ‘originals’ which many are just foreign films/shows we haven’t seen in the US on other services, a great catalog of older shows and some new ones. HBO Max has a much better movie collection and their catalog of shows is growing seemingly every day.

    Given that, since the price of the ‘standard’ Netflix and current HBO Max are within a dollar of each other, they are prime candidates to kick on and off for some periods of binge watching.

    To a much lesser extent, Paramount+ and Peacock are trying to play in this market but really are missing too many things to allow them to bring their pricing up.
     
  11. Mar 13, 2021 #71 of 143
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I think $15/mo was working fine for HBO in the pre-Netflix world but Netflix changed the equation in terms of how much ad-free entertainment that consumers expect for their money. So they had to add all the additional Max content to build up the amount (and variety) of content they offered for the price. And now they're going to offer it a lower price point too, albeit with ads.

    I'd say HBO Max (ad-free) is the most direct competitor to Netflix. Warner is putting pretty much all their eggs in that basket, unlike Disney, which divides their content between Disney+ and Hulu, or ViacomCBS, which divides between Paramount+ and Showtime. Apple TV+ is obviously not, given that it's just a small, boutique collection of new original content with no back catalog. IDK, I guess you could consider Prime Video to be a direct Netflix competitor, although the economics are different there because it's part of the larger Prime service that's mainly about selling more stuff from Amazon. And Prime Video doesn't seem to offer as much fresh original content each month as either Netflix or HBO Max, although they do have a huge catalog of older licensed content.
     
  12. Mar 15, 2021 #72 of 143
    crkeehn

    crkeehn Godfather

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    What impact would the advent of the with ads version of HBO Max have on those of us who get HBO Max free? My U-verse 1000 service includes HBO Max at no charge.
     
  13. Mar 15, 2021 #73 of 143
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    They haven't announced yet whether or not they'll switch the free HBO Max they give to certain internet and wireless customers over to the upcoming version with ads. But even in the version with ads, all of the HBO Originals content will still be ad-free. It's just the other "Max" content that will have ads. (And no word yet on whether any movies will have ads.)
     
  14. Mar 16, 2021 #74 of 143
    techguy88

    techguy88 Well-Known Member

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    They most likely won't change what comes in the Unlimited plans like Elite or the Fiber Internet 1000 plan. Main reason is they are the high end "premium" plans so they would want them to have the best version of HBO Max. During the Grammy Awards, AT&T debuted a new trailer for In The Heights and a new AT&T Wireless ad focused on selling Elite with HBO Max to watch WB's Same Day Premieres. In The Heights is scheduled to be released on June 18, 2021 in theaters & on HBO Max. Also their billing systems for Wireless & Internet plans with HBO Max (Commercial Free) are designed to unlock traditional HBO on DirecTV, AT&T TV, etc.

    Like I said if they want to include the AVOD tier they would most likely have it in a plan like Unlimited Extra. This way they have another talking point upsell people to Elite. It would also put their mid-level tier in line with Verizon's Play More & T-Mobile's Magenta. If there are any changes on the Internet side I would speculate the AVOD tier could be included in Internet 300.
     
  15. Mar 16, 2021 #75 of 143
    itzme

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    Is the 3 months free offer still availible? Can an existing DirecTV subscriber just sign up for that somewhere?
     
  16. Mar 16, 2021 #76 of 143
    NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Maybe. It's all speculation, really. My guess is that if they were going to switch out the ad-free version for the version with ads, they wouldn't do it right away. Maybe wait until next year, when the WB theatricals are no longer all debuting on HBO Max at the same time as theaters. And they might only make the switch for new subscribers to those wireless and internet plans, while existing subscribers would continue to get the ad-free version so long as they didn't change their plan.
     
  17. Mar 17, 2021 #77 of 143
    DirectMan

    DirectMan AllStar

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    If you are a current D* customer go to the online account info on the main page there will be an offer. I used the free three month offer and then cancelled after three months. I got a call a few days after cancellation offering me another free three month offer which I accepted.
     
  18. Mar 18, 2021 #78 of 143
    itzme

    itzme Hall Of Fame

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    Could I trouble you to be more specific and tell me what link has that ad? I can't find it on the first page i dee when I log in or when I click on "Account Info" Maybe post the url that has the ad ? Or URL after you click the ad? I don't see at it at and I'm logged in as an active customer.

    https://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/mydirectv/account/myAccountInfo.jsp
    OR
    https://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/mydirectv/account/myOverview.jsp
     
  19. Mar 18, 2021 #79 of 143
    bamasat22

    bamasat22 New Member

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    One of your post on the difference of the add version and 14.99 version is currently on the table and is correct.
    Kinda on the same perception and offerings as *PARTS of the different Netflix tiers might be considered.

    Also , the Elite/ max wireless push has been there for a very good while now.
    Production is still behind.( Video )
    You call in , you won't hear of another plan / price Until the cx starts rejection of price and the plan initiatives , then the
    " hot spot " mentioning as the sales tool is pushed after the primary Max push.

    Sent from my moto using Tapatalk
     
  20. Mar 18, 2021 #80 of 143

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