WarnerMedia is launching the extremely ambitious HBO Max streaming service this year. It will cost approximately $17 per month and include content from HBO and Cinemax, as well as TBS, TNT, TRUTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and CNN. In 2020, a full slate of impressive original content will begin to arrive.
In a lengthy examination of HBO Max and its coup of scoring exclusive streaming rights to ‘Friends’, writer Lesley Goldberg of The Hollywood Reporter penned:
“The bow of HBO Max brings into question other WarnerMedia-backed streaming services including HBO Now, HBO Go, CW Seed and DC Universe. Per sources, all will remain as-is — though that obviously could change over time.”
Subscribers to HBO and Cinemax will automatically get access to HBO Max with no additional charge. It would seem that this would make HBO Go and HBO Now obsolete. CW Seed is free to begin with, so there may be no impact there.
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That brings us to DC Universe. This service costs $7.99 a month. That’s cheaper than Netflix and some other major services, but that is hardly a fair comparison. There is VERY little content available– despite its premise, DC Universe doesn’t even offer every film or TV show pertaining to DC Comics. It only has three live-action original shows– ‘Titans’, ‘Doom Patrol’, and ‘Swamp Thing’, and among them, ‘Titans’ is getting a second season, ‘Swamp Thing’ isn’t, and ‘Doom Patrol’ seems to be up in the air. Beyond that, DC Universe only offers ten other live-action shows. The bulk of that is really old and spotty– like the 1950s-60s ‘Adventures of Superman’, ‘The Human Target’, and the ’90s ‘Flash’.
The hit series on The CW are not available, and that includes ‘Smallville’ which has been off the air for years. None of the live-action ‘Batman’ movies is on there, and neither is the 1960s ‘Batman’ series.
DC Universe does offer some perks that other services don’t, like thousands of digital comics, which, to the right person, would justify the monthly price alone.
But with Disney+ launching later this year, with a similar price point and hundreds of times the content– both catalog and original– it remains to be seen if WarnerMedia can continue to justify the existence of this small niche service with its extremely limited content.
Plus there would seem to be a lot of pluses to folding DC Universe into HBO Max. The original series might get larger budgets and exposure to a wider audience. The extra features, like the digital comics, could be offered under a smaller, cheaper package.
Do you subscribe to DC Universe? Will you keep it as these other competing services roll out?