Business

This is why HBO Max attracts dozens of movies and TV series


Discovery of Warner Bros.HBO’s HBO Max is removing 36 feature-length movies and TV series from its platform. There are three main reasons why it happens.

Movies and series – including 20 original HBO Max shows such as the teen drama “Generation” and the spin-off “The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo” of “Sesame Street” – will be removed. at the end of Friday. The decision was made before Warner Bros. plans to combine Discovery+ with HBO Max into a new service will launch in the US in mid-2023.

“As we work towards bringing our content catalogs to one platform, we will make changes to the content offering available on both HBO Max and Discovery+. That will including the removal of some content from both platforms,” ​​an HBO Max spokesperson said in a statement.

It seems strange that HBO Max is getting rid of series made specifically for the platform – streaming services are filled with little-watched shows and movies. But for Warner Bros. Discovery, there are three main drivers behind the cuts: cutting costs, moving away from kids and family-oriented content, and improving service.

Cut down the costs

Although HBO Max paid for the production of these shows, it still had to pay the rest, including so-called post-production payments to the cast, crew, and writers, based on long-term viewership metrics.

By eliminating these movies and shows, especially those created by HBO Max instead of being licensed, operators can cut costs immediately. Discovery of Warner Bros. promised at least $3 billion in synergies stemming from the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery, announced in May.

In total, removing the content will save “tens of millions of dollars,” according to two people familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity because the financing is private.

The reason is not the same Why was the superhero movie “Batgirl” removed? in the first day of this month. That decision took advantage of a tax benefits merger strategy change that allows unfinished projects to be deleted. HBO Max shows have already launched and are already on the service, so they don’t apply for that benefit.

Escorting children and families

Most of what HBO Max is attracting is reality TV or content for kids and families. (The full list of removed content is at the end of this story.)

HBO Max will pull content with no description from Discovery, which will add nearly the entire category of reality TV, including from HGTV, Food Network and Animal Plant, to the combined service next year. HBO Max laid off 14% of employees earlier this weekincludes many parts from its no description.

The transition away from kids and family content is new. HBO Max executives decided that viewers simply didn’t come to the service to watch children’s shows. Even “Sesame Street”, HBO Max acquired in 2019 in a 5 year deal, is not pulling strong numbers, according to people familiar with the matter. That prompted the removal of “The Show Is Not Too Late For Elmo,” the residents said.

HBO specializes in adult-themed content geared towards male audiences. Discovery specializes in adult-themed factual content seen by more women. While hybrid services target adult gender demographics, they are not targeted at children. Instead of adding more content to fill that niche, these people said, Warner Bros. Discovery has decided to phase out the genre with a future investment budget.

Clean up

Online executives across the industry frequently talk about Netflix having a “discovery” problem. They say that Netflix has so much content that it’s hard to find the best of it. While Netflix tries to mitigate this with its algorithms and Top 10 lists, the service has hundreds of shows that get lost in the shuffle because too much content increases the search process.

According to people familiar with the matter, everything received from “HBO Max” is not regularly followed.

With the upcoming addition of Discovery+ content, Warner Bros. Discovery executives. concerns HBO Max could be bogged down with movies and shows that are rarely seen. That can lead viewers to associate the service with things they don’t want to watch β€” “a Netflix problem,” said an HBO Max executive, who requested anonymity because the decision is private.

Traditional pay TV also struggles with this problem. Cable TV has increased in cost, averaging around $100 per month, while more and more cable networks have been viewed worse over the years. As a result, the customer has refuse mass cable TV.

This risk of having too much content is one of the reasons Disney history has kept Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu separate. Disney executives have long felt that consumers will pay lower prices for a more tailored experience.

The CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav Might Want To Raise Prices For An HBO Max-Discovery+ Show, Especially Competitor Disney And Netflix recently increased price. Removing less-viewed content, while adding a bunch of new Discovery+ content, could help justify the increase.

***

HBO Max announced the following series will be removed this week:

12 days of Christmas

About me yesterday

Aquaman: King of Atlantis

Close enough

Prison adventure

Dodo

Ellen’s Next Great Designer

Elliott from Earth

Esme & Roy

The Fungies!

Generation hustle

Genera + ion

Infinite train

Little Ellen

Mao Mao, Hero of the Pure Heart

Messy goes to Okido

Mia’s Magic Playground

Mighty Magiswords

My dinner with Herve

My mother, your father

Odo

CAN I! – Be a hero

The Ollie & Moon Show

Pac-Man and its spooky adventures

Pursuit of Happiness by Ravi Patel

Choose from Sesame Street Specials

Make it big, make it small

Repost

Squish

Summer Camp Island

The show is not too late for Elmo

The Runaway Bunny – Special

Theodosia

Tig n ‘Seek

Uncle

Victor and Valentino

Dinosaurs Yabba Dabba

WATCH: The CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav talks to CNBC about his strategy



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