what’s going? The media landscape is certainly different from the early days of the pandemic, and HBO Max is still in flux.
There are countless reasons why HBO Max is removing shows like “Generation,” “Infinity Train,” “Vinyl,” and “The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo.”
But it falls into three main areas: cost-cutting, a shift in the overall content strategy and ridding the service of content that subscribers don’t watch.
Wait, cut costs? Does HBO Max not own this content?
Just because the content lives on a service doesn’t mean it’s free yet expensive.
Streaming services still have to pay the residuals to actors and production crews, and those costs pile up. HBO Max will save “100 million dollars a year” after removing shows, according to a source familiar with HBO’s decision.
“Keeping addresses on the platform has a cost,” Julia Alexander, director of strategy at Parrot Analytics, told CNN Business. “Does the title bring more value to the platform than its cost? If the answer is no, and especially if that title is a low-interaction title, and a lot of these elements, removing the titles can benefit the company.”
But isn’t the whole point of broadcasting “everything in our catalog?”
Live broadcasts have trained consumers to believe that everything will forever be available on the service, especially original content. This is not always the case.
Other services pull content from their libraries as well. It’s part of the job.
What does Warner Bros. say? Discovery about this?
“As we work to bring our content catalogs together on one platform, we will be making changes to the display of content available on both HBO Max and Discovery+,” a spokesperson for HBO Max told CNN Business. “This will include removing some content from both platforms.”
Did HBO Max cancel ‘Sesame Street’? I think I read that somewhere
why did you do that? Thought streaming services wanted more kids’ content, not less?
Kids programming is vital to the health of any streaming service, but it requires a significant investment, according to Alexander.
“Investing in children’s programming, especially live shows, is about being a subscriber,” she said. “You can’t just have two programs and hope that’s enough. That requires a multi-year plan.”
Ultimately, HBO Max wants to focus more on strengths like HBO adult dramas and movies at Warner Bros. , but it will most likely reinvest in children’s content again at some point.
What does this mean for the future of HBO Max?
Time will tell.
David Zaslav, the new CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery aims to make money from traditional revenue streams such as TV ad revenue, cable fees, and box office totals as well as broadcasting. This is a shift from his predecessor, Jason Keeler, who bet the future was on the flow and more
Iof WarnerMedia eggs in that basket.
The world of broadcasting is evolving, and everyone is still discovering its future.
“It’s not a game that Kilar was right and Zaslav was wrong or Zaslav was right and Kilar was wrong. It’s a question of prioritizing,” Alexander said. “The future of broadcasting is still being decided, but it’s basically where everything is headed.”
She added that cable is declining as broadband expands and the future of broadcasting will not be a one-size-fits-all.
“It’s a premium service like HBO Max as well as free ad-supported platforms like Pluto TV, as well as licensing offers for other players in the live and linear space,” Alexander said. “And this is in conjunction with the theatrical releases – not a complete replacement for them.”
She said that consumer choice will have a large part in determining what the next era of broadcasting – and thus HBO Max – will be like, adding that “the audience has been and always will be king.”