If you’re looking for reasons to keep paying for Netflix following its password-sharing crackdown, Warner Bros. Discovery might have just provided one for you. On Monday, all five seasons of the HBO original series Insecure started streaming on Netflix, marking the beginning of the new deal between WBD and Netflix. Deadline reports that Insecure is the first of five HBO shows coming to Netflix in the US as part of the agreement.
The shocking partnership comes amid a tumultuous period for Warner Bros. Discovery. In recent months, the media company has removed droves of content from its streaming service, changed the name of said streaming service from HBO Max to Max, and licensed some of that vanished content out to FAST services such as The Roku Channel and Tubi.
WBD CEO David Zaslav is intent on making money at all costs, even if it means canning shows and movies for tax write-offs or giving up the exclusivity of major titles.
In addition to Insecure, the comedy-drama series co-created by and starring Issa Rae, Netflix will also stream Band of Brothers, The Pacific, Six Feet Under, and Ballers. While these might not be the network’s flashiest offerings, they aren’t exactly castoffs either. The five TV series combined to win dozens of Emmys and Golden Globes while they were on the air.
As surprised as I am that WBD would give another streamer access to five original series with significant followings, the company is seemingly convinced that these shows are worth more as licensing deals than they are as draws for Max. That is not the assumption I would have made, but I also don’t have access to the same data as WBD.
The exclusivity and prestige of HBO’s content have always been part of the network’s allure. Now that I can watch Band of Brothers, Insecure, and Six Feet Under on Netflix alongside Is It Cake? and Love Is Blind, I’ll admit that some of the allure is gone. Were it not for the continued excellence of many HBO originals, like Barry, The Last of Us, Succession, and The Righteous Gemstones, I’d be strongly reconsidering my Max subscription right about now.