With AT&T now in control of the newly rebranded WarnerMedia, the launch of an exclusive SVOD service is moving closer to reality. Among the latest scoops is that WarnerMedia has decided to ditch the three-tier packages and simply go with a single plan for all subscribers. This package is on the pricey side, compared to other services, but viewers will get a wide range of programming including HBO and Cinemax, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Subscribers to HBO via cable or satellite will get the WarnerMedia service for free. The service will also offer programming from TBS, TNT, TRUTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and CNN.
According to sources, the WarnerMedia streaming service will cost $16-$17 a month. That’s higher than the existing HBO Now package, which costs $14.99 per month, and that’s about the highest plan out there. Netflix’s standard package is $12.99 per month. Showtime is $10.99, and Hulu has a $5.99 ad-supported plan, which is the most popular, as well as an $11.99/month ad-free package. CBS All Access also offers a $5.99 ad-supported version, and a $9.99 ad-free version. Disney+ will be competitively priced at $6.99/month.
WarnerMedia had previously planned to release three different tiers. A movie-focused “entry level” plan would have been the cheapest, followed by a plan with movies and original programming. The most expensive would have offered all of that, plus Warner Brothers’ extensive back catalog.
Disney+ has the benefit of the full Disney, Pixar, and ‘Star Wars’ back-catalogs and nearly every Marvel release, as well as new programming from each division, plus National Geographic. Warner Brothers is also banking on its catalog, including exclusive access to recent hits like ‘Aquaman’ and ‘A Star is Born’, and classics like ‘Casablanca’. It will also become the only streaming service to offer ‘Friends’, ‘Seinfeld’, and ‘The Big Bang Theory’, all of which are currently huge streaming hits on other services. “We’ll be bringing a lot of these licensing rights back to ourselves,” said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson last month. It was also previously divulged that all CW shows will no longer automatically go to Netflix, with ‘Batwoman’ being singled out as a program that WarnerMedia wants to keep for itself.
A beta version is expected to roll out this fall, with a full launch in early 2020. It is reportedly contemplating a cheaper ad-supported version to be introduced later in 2020.
The pricing mentioned– $16-$17 per month– is just an estimation. The actual price hasn’t been announced and the service doesn’t even have a name yet.
What do you think? Will the WarnerMedia SVOD service make you drop Netflix or any other services?