In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, when the entertainment industry is at a standstill, the only clear victor to emerge are the streaming services. Netflix which recorded an unexpectedly high wave of subscriptions (almost twice the number they were expecting) is currently leading the charge of global streaming services which are benefiting from people under lockdown worldwide. Now, a new streaming platform: HBO Max, may be ready to rock the boat in the coming month.
HBO MAX: New shows and movies coming your way
The company will have six originals on HBO Max at launch – “Love Life,” “On the Record,” “Legendary,” “Craftopia,” “Looney Toons Cartoons” and “The Not Too Late Show with Elmo”. Moreover, it will come packed with full seasons of “Friends”; “The Big Bang Theory”; “Doctor Who”; “Rick and Morty”; “The Bachelor”; “Sesame Street”; “Pretty Little Liars”, “Doom Patrol” and HBO hits like “Big Little Lies” and “Game Of Thrones”.
HBO Max will also produce new content such as an unscripted “Friends“ reunion special that was slated to premiere on May 27 but has now been pushed back. Besides, prolific director and producer J.J Abrahms. will produce at least three series for HBO Max: “Justice League Dark” show based on the popular DC comics; “Overlook”, a thriller based on Stephen King’s “The Shining”; and a 1970s crime show called “Duster”. More DC shows such as the already greenlight, mega-budget “Green Lantern” show and possible Harry Potter spin-offs are to be expected.
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A whole new take with Kristen Bell returning as the voice of the titular character is also expected, of the teen phenomenon “Gossip Girl”. A prequel series for the popular Game Of Thrones show entitled “The House of Dragons” is also in pre-production.
#HouseOfTheDragon, a #GameofThrones prequel is coming to @HBO.
The series is co-created by @GRRMSpeaking and Ryan Condal. Miguel Sapochnik will partner with Condal as showrunner and will direct the pilot and additional episodes. Condal will be writing the series. pic.twitter.com/9ttMzElgXm
— Game of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) October 29, 2019
How much will it cost?
The subscription-streaming package, with some 10,000 hours of content out of the gate, will debut May 27 in the U.S, priced at $14.99 monthly. The original plan as of right now is to introduce the service in America before branching out to Europe and Asia starting next year. At launch, HBO Max will be available on Apple devices and fully integrated with the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple TVs.
Third-party companies have reported seeing massive increases in usage and subscription sign-ups for platforms like Disney Plus. According to a report by Verge, just this past month Amazon’s other streaming platform, Twitch, has seen a 31 per cent growth in viewership, with the total amount of hours watched jumping from 33 million on March 8th to 43 million on March 22nd. Youtube has also seen an uptick in views since the global shutdown. All these factors make this a perfect time to launch a new streaming platform.
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Does HBO MAX stand a chance against Netflix, Hulu?
HBO Max’s birth at this difficult hour means that there won’t be new original content from the service for some time. HBO Max has some of the best-known IPs that could generate interest in people fond of watching old shows and films. Warner Media the parent company behind the service has perhaps the most impressive library of content thanks to a decade’s long slew of successful film and TV properties.
While the streamer will host original films such as the recently announced “Super Intelligence” and “An American Pickle”, it also has an extensive library of films to host. These include the “Harry Potter” films, the DC movies: “Man of Steel”, “The Dark Knight” and “Joker”, to name a few. All in all, the 10000 hours of very popular content many of will likely sway people all over the world to subscribe once the service is out.
Even with its vast content library, HBO Max will encounter a tough competition with other streaming platforms. The reigning streamers, such as Netflix and Hulu, aren’t going anywhere, and newer services like Apple TV+ and Disney+ have their perks and highly-anticipated originals that could help them carve off their slices of the streaming market. There’s no doubt that HBO Max will enter the market during an unprecedented era for streaming television. However, by the time it releases, Apple and Disney’s streaming services will be bulking up their content libraries in their pursuit of attracting subscribers.
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HBO Max may be more expensive than Netflix and Disney Plus but it’s highly likely that the subscription cost will be lowered to acquire subscribers quickly. No matter what the cost is, at the end of the day, the content alone could make it the biggest streaming service in the coming years.