In May 2020, WarnerMedia launched HBO Max into a crowded streaming landscape. In spite of early struggles, the timing couldn’t have been better. When the world was stuck at home, struggling to find new sources of entertainment amid a global pandemic, HBO’s latest attempt at an app-based platform rose in the ranks alongside fellow newly launched service, Disney+.
The platform builds on HBO’s much-loved original prestige programming, while taking advantage of a day and date approach to streaming films, which many studios have opened up to amid worldwide theater shutdowns. In particular, its sister studio Warner Bros. has premiered a number of big-budget films on the service — including “Wonder Woman 1984” and “Space Jam: A New Legacy” — as the pandemic has shown no sign of slowing.
The past year has brought plenty of channels for the service, as well. Not everyone is thrilled about the pandemic trend of bypassing the theater. Sopranos creator David Chase was recently quoted as being “extremely angry” about the HBO Max release of the prequel — news that followed Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney over its own streaming release of “Black Widow.” The company has evolved strategies, removing its offering from Amazon Prime Channels and adding a lower-cost ad-based tier to Max.
WarnerMedia EVP and head of business operations for HBO Max Andy Forssell will be joining us at our virtual TechCrunch Disrupt next week on September 21-23 to discuss the service’s launch during a turbulent time, as well as what the future holds for the app, and video streaming in general. Prior to joining WarnerMedia in 2019, Forssell served as the COO of Otter Media and Fullscreen, Inc. and was the acting CEO and SVP of Hulu.
Disrupt starts next week. Get your ticket now for less than $100 before the price goes up in a few short days.