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How AT&T plans to position HBO Max to take on Netflix

Published Oct 27th, 2019 9:02AM EDT
HBO Max vs Netflix
Image: HBO

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It’s a little bit crazy how quickly the streaming landscape has exploded in just a few months’ time. Not too long ago, the field of services duking it out for streaming supremacy was relatively small. You had Netflix as the top dog, of course, and then you had Amazon, Hulu, and HBO essentially all angling for second place.

The streaming landscape today, however, is about to get a lot more crowded, if not downright confusing. Both Disney and Apple, for example, are planning to roll out their own streaming services within the next few weeks. What’s more, AT&T is planning to enter the fray with HBO Max, a brand new streaming service that will exist alongside both HBO Now and HBO Go.

Confusing? Undoubtedly. But the truth is that HBO Max actually appears to be a compelling service. Designed to be a standalone service, which is to say that no cable subscription is required, HBO Max will reportedly offer users a plethora of compelling content for a rumored price point in the $15 range. While certainly a pricey subscription, HBO Max will offer users all of the existing HBO content along with original programming and programming “from Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes” and more.

Further, HBO Max has also secured the rights to incredibly popular sitcoms like Friends and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

From the sounds of it, HBO Max looks to be a compelling service, but there’s no doubt that it faces something of an uphill battle as it looks to compete against Netflix and Disney Plus.

To this end, Reuters has an interesting look at some of the plans AT&T has in order to make HBO Max a hit. Not surprisingly, one of the company’s key strategies is to focus on developing original content and using nostalgia to lure viewers over.

That focus explains the investment in shows like “Circe”; a “Gremlins” animated series; and a reboot of “Gossip Girl” that will appeal to the under-40 crowd.

WarnerMedia is also investing in children’s content and will feature “Sesame Street” on HBO Max.

There’s also a chance AT&T might try to bundle HBO Max “with AT&T wireless subscriptions.”

What’s interesting about HBO Max, in stark contrast to, say, a streaming service like Apple TV Plus, is that it already has a boatload of content to offer users. The challenge, though, is to make HBO Max standout in an already crowded market place where consumers are already overwhelmed with content choices.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.