Warner teases first details of streaming service
James R | On 12, Feb 2019
Warner Bros. has teased the first details of its upcoming streaming service.
The untitled platform has been in the pipeline for some time, as the Hollywood veteran (recently acquired by telecommunications giant AT&T) prepares to consolidate its online presence into one central entertainment hub. That hub will include not only Warner Bros. titles but also HBO and Turner content – the latter previously available through subscription service FilmStruck, now shuttered as part of AT&T’s streamlining strategy.
Now, we have our first hints of what that strategy will look like, with Kevin Reilly, President of TNT and TBS and Head of Content for the streaming platform, giving the TCA press tour some details of what to expect. Firstly, HBO will continue to run as a separate service, but it new be integrated into Warner’s new platform. A tiered pricing structure is likely, with HBO subscribers able to pay more to add the full service, or potentially AT&T customers able to take advantage of some kind of incentive.
Secondly, Reilly highlighted the importance of keeping Warner’s content to itself, with Friends (which recently saw its licence extended over at Netflix) part of that plan not to share it prized toys.
“I think you can expect the crown jewels of Warner will ultimately end up on the new service,” Reilly reportedly said, suggesting the show will be taken off Netflix after 2019. Netflix’s deal with The CW is up for renewal too, he noted, which means that Riverdale may well end up being moved to Netfix in the USA.
What any of these things would mean for UK audience isn’t yet clear; DC Universe, for example, the comic giant’s new SVOD platform, is only available in the USA, with one of its shows, Titans, instead sold to Netflix. But with the media giant also investing in original titles to go with its expansive existing library – and with a beta version of the platform (sans original content) lined up for the end of this year – Warner isn’t waiting around to get its Netflix rival off the ground.