Call me crazy, but in a market already saturated by streaming services — and not to mention upcoming options from the likes of Disney and Apple — I’m more than a bit intrigued by HBO Max. Aside from the confusing matrix of names (HBO Max, HBO GO, HBO Now), the reality is that HBO Max really looks to be a compelling offering. With a rumored price point in the $15 range, HBO Max will not only offer up everything currently available on HBO, but additional content from Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, TNT, TBS, the Cartoon Network, and much more.
What’s interesting about the impending launch of HBO Max is that AT&T seems completely unfazed by what is undeniably a crowded field of competitors. During an earnings conference call earlier this week, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson seemed to downplay rivals by insisting that HBO Max is so unique as to clearly stand apart from other streaming services.
“This is a product that’s going to be very different from anything else that you’ve seen in the market so far,” Stephenson boasted. “This is not Netflix. This is not Disney. This is HBO Max.”
While it’s certainly easy to poke fun at Stephenson’s remarks, there’s no denying that HBO Max will have an absolute treasure trove of content, including the exclusive rights to Friends and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
While it remains to be seen how consumers take to HBO Max — and pricing will certainly be a huge factor — it’s clear that AT&T has extremely high hopes for its burgeoning streaming service. Recently, AT&T COO John Stankey relayed that the company is aiming to have upwards of 80 million subscribers by 2021, an ambitious goal to say the least.