PHOTO CREDIT: ANDERS KRUSBERG / PEABODY AWARDS
John Stankey, the CEO of AT&T's WarnerMedia wants HBO to be more like Netflix. Translation: making way more original programming and throwing it at the subscriber wall to see what sticks.
That's against the HBO grain as Richard Plepler, its former CEO, created it - he took more time curating and choosing plots. AT&T has different plans for HBO than the renowned content creator had for itself, and the chief executive of HBO left in a telltale sign that he didn't agree with the new direction.
The immense success of HBO shows like Game of Thrones, Sopranos and countless others only underwrites the wisdom of Mr Plepler's strategy, but now that AT&T is at the helm, we may be treated to more shows concocted in more haste and, perhaps, more "mishaps" that give AT&T customers an advantage.
Soon, they will be able to stream hit HBO shows directly to their mobile devices as part of the new Max video service that is launching in May for $15, or for free if you are an AT&T unlimited plan user. For a flying start, it will have all 236 episodes of Friends which Netflix will lose the rights to at the end of this year.
Needless to say, Apple is not asleep at the wheel regarding these developments, and won't just let the man behind the best TV shows ever sit in limbo for long. The Wall Street Journal
is reporting that former HBO CEO Richard Plepler is now on the verge of signing an exclusive deal between his RLP & Co. production company, and Apple TV+.
The deal will involve original content creation and should be finalized in the next few weeks, making us giddy about having the most visionary guy in entertainment in recent memory join a company that has the pocketbook to back even his most ambitious projects.
HBO Max vs Apple TV+ vs Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and Disney+ plan prices
|Streaming service||Monthly price|
|Apple TV+||$4.99, free for a year with an iPhone or iPad purchase, up to 6 family members can use one subscription, free for students who subscriber for Apple Music |
|Netflix||$9 (Basic - 1 device, SD streaming)|
$13 (Standard - 2 devices, HD streaming)
$16 (Premium - 4 devices, 4K streaming)
|HBO Max (launch May 2020)||$14.99 (launch May 2020)|
|Amazon Prime Video||$8.99 standalone, free with Amazon Prime subscription|
|Hulu||$6 (ad-based service)|
$12 (ad-free option)
$45 (Hulu with Live TV and 50+ live streaming channels)
|Disney+||$6.99 per month, or $70 for an annual subscription|
$12.99 for Disney+, ESPN Plus, and ad-supported Hulu
free on Verizon unlimited plans