AT&T and Warner Media Leadership Outline Changes Coming to HBO Over the Next Year

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    On June 19, former AT&T executive and new chief executive of Warner Media John Stankey spoke to a group of HBO employees about changes coming to the premium cable company in the near future. The discussion was held in the wake of AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner, which owns HBO, and also included HBO's chief executive officer Richard Plepler.

    The telecommunications company previously stated that it would take a "hands-off approach" to running HBO, but The New York Times this weekend reported on Stankey's speech and it sounds like that might not be the case. According to a video of the discussion, Stankey explained Warner Media's intent to align HBO more alongside streaming companies like Netflix in order to increase its subscriber base, although he refrained from referencing Netflix by name.


    This means creating more content that releases at a faster pace, in comparison to HBO's current stable of limited Sunday night-focused shows. According to Stankey, the goal is to increase the hours per day viewers watch HBO, which is currently less than rivals like Netflix and Hulu because of HBO's smaller catalog.
    Continuing this thread, Stankey specifically stated that more hours of user engagement means that Warner Media can "get more data and information" to monetize through advertisements and new subscription options.
    As the discussion continued, Stankey appeared to have butted heads slightly with Plepler on the topic of HBO's monetization, which Stankey believes can be increased through his new methods. Plepler claimed that the company is already a consistent moneymaker, to which Stankey responded: "Yes, yes you do... Just not enough."

    Stankey and Warner Media hope that an increased output of original content will boost HBO's 40 million paid subscribers in the United States, which Stankey said as of now "was not going to cut it." Comparatively, Netflix earlier this year had 55 million U.S. subscribers and Hulu in May had 20 million.

    HBO's business currently expands across paid cable add-on packages, the connected HBO GO app, and standalone HBO NOW app. Stankey said that Warner Media's plans will kick off soon and "there's going to be more work" for HBO employees over the next twelve months, which he called a "dog year."

    While Apple wasn't mentioned in the discussion, the Cupertino company is another upcoming competitor in the streaming TV market, with plans to debut more than a dozen television shows beginning sometime in 2019. Although the distribution of these shows remains unclear, the company is rumored to be planning a bundle with original TV content, Apple Music, and more.

    Article Link: AT&T and Warner Media Leadership Outline Changes Coming to HBO Over the Next Year
  2. redscull macrumors 6502a


    Jul 1, 2010
    If HBO tries to be a competitor to Netflix, I will evaluate it on the same merits as Netflix, and probably dump it in favor of Netflix. While it remains supplemental to Netflix, it actually has value to me. I doubt AT&T's greed is going to pan out here.
  3. iLilana macrumors 6502a


    May 5, 2003
    Alberta, Canada
    This is the point HBO is going to be run by wall street oligarchs. It may as well have been taken over by EA. Sure it will keep going but content will begin to suck consistently. John Oliver will for sure be cancelled. and most importantly AT&T became Delos by saying "I want more hours of engagement. Why are more hours of engagement important? Because you get more data and information about a customer that then allows you to do things like monetize through alternate models of advertising as well as subscriptions, which I think is very important to play in tomorrow's world."
  4. MhzDoesMatter macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2002
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Yeah, this will probably suck. HBO seems like the TV equivalent of "A Thousand No's." There's no way they can become a content farm and not lower their standards. Netflix has a lot of junk and niche content. No one wants a cooking show about Pinterest fails from HBO.
  5. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    I fear for the quality of content that will end up coming from HBO now. I love the network as it is for the most part. AT&T is probably going mess it all up now. This Stankey guy, based on the quotes in the article sounds like a real jerk to me.
  6. mrow macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2009
    So basically these moron telecom executives with no experience in content are about to ruin HBO.
  7. nburwell macrumors 601


    May 6, 2008
    While I will take a wait a see approach with my HBO Now subscription, I really don't like the sounds of this article. As @redscull mentioned, HBO is supplemental to Netflix. I would have no issue ultimately canceling my HBO Now subscription since my wife and I would be just fine with Netflix and Hulu. Yes, we would miss out on HBO's original programming, but who know what AT&T has in store.
  8. b11051973 macrumors 6502

    Apr 8, 2006
    HBO currently shows mostly content it doesn't own. How much longer will they be able to do this? Disney is pulling their content for their own streaming service. Will other studios be doing the same? Could be HBO has to start making more content. Otherwise it will only have a handful of shows on repeat 24x7.

    It also seems their current plan is based on people watching stuff live, or at least through the DVR. Will they start making content that never airs and is only streaming?
  9. syklee26 macrumors 6502

    Jul 26, 2005
  10. rjohnstone macrumors 68040


    Dec 28, 2007
    PHX, AZ.
    It has a good balance between movies and original content already. More original content will not get me to watch it more.
    I guess they'll have to find out the hard (and expensive) way.

    I get it free as it is (AT&T wireless customer), so I can ignore it financially, if it gets crappy show.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 9, 2018 ---
    That make too much money off of that to cut it.
  11. StrongArmmed macrumors member


    Aug 10, 2010
    Miami, FL
    Of course, AT&T is going to come into a perfectly-profitable and respected creative house like HBO and break it. One had to know that was going to occur. It's simply a quest for monetization for T, not understanding WHY people watch HBO. I wouldn't be surprised if there's an exodus of the creative leaders at HBO, soon followed by customers heading for the exits. That is the most likely outcome, not an increase in subscriber eyeballs, post-merger.
  12. Maclver macrumors 68020


    Nov 23, 2008
    36°07′53″N 95°56′14″W
    Ok Nailed It is pretty good... lol
  13. rotax macrumors regular

    May 17, 2010
  14. vipergts2207 macrumors 68020


    Apr 7, 2009
    Columbus, OH
    So it sounds like commercials and lower quality shows will be coming soon to HBO? That's fine, instead of remaining a yearly subscriber, I'll dump it and only subscribe when GoT and Westworld are airing. And you know what having advertisers means? Dealing with censorship and boycotts. The things propping up HBO as such a great content provider are about to be kick out from underneath it.
  15. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    I'm really tired of AT&T. I have to deal with the company at work on the business side of commercial phone lines and the 9-1-1 side of telephone lines and they're awful in those areas just as much as the following.

    They then buy TWC, raise "administrative fees" on cellular lines and raise rates on DirecTV Now customers. This week they're aiming to ruin HBO.

    What's next?
  16. Martinpa macrumors member

    Oct 30, 2014
    It is beyond me how these companies aren’t scrutinized like Paramount was (and the other majors were) back in the 40s... back then they were forced to sever their exhibition branch, has it was considered monopolistic to own Production, Distribution and Exhibition...

    Now we have Netflix producing its own content, distributing it (as well as other content they license) and exhibiting it on their own platform. I’ve been told the argument was that they didn’t own the “pipes” funneling content to the platform (e.g. they aren’t an ISP) which I thought was a very weak argument... isn’t it like saying the Majors didn’t own the company making the projectors or the film positive?

    Anyhow, doesn’t matter as now with AT&T and Time Warner merging, we have a company producing content, distributing it, exhibiting it on their platform AND they are an ISP that owns the pipes through which we receive the content on the aforementioned platform. How is that even allowed?!

    I guess it’s not that different from Cable companies owning channels that produces their own content ‍♂️
  17. OldSchoolMacGuy Suspended


    Jul 10, 2008
    Lots of people with no experience offering their opinions on something they're in no way qualified to speak on in here. Pretty funny.
  18. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    So, in other words - their intent is to away from producing a smaller number of high-quality shows, and instead they'll start churning out a lot of bad-to-mediocre shows.
  19. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    Should everyone remain silent on the subject then?
  20. macduke macrumors G4


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    <sarcasm>This is definitely not going to go horribly wrong and ruin everything.</sarcasm>
  21. unobtainium macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2011
    HBO has done well in the “quality over quantity” department, at least until recently. Westworld doesn’t cut it as a GoT replacement for me and there’s not enough left to justify a monthly subscription fee. Taking a Netflix approach won’t help because that means quantity over quality and (imo) Netflix quality sucks.
  22. MDF314159265 macrumors 6502


    Sep 4, 2010
    Temecula, CA
  23. 827538 macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2013
    Rip HBO.

    I’m just happy GoT will be finished before AT&T has a chance to destroy it.

    I’m just glad Netflix is independent and continues to invest heavily in quality content. It’s the only service I’m interested in.
  24. 4jasontv, Jul 9, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018

    4jasontv macrumors 68000

    Jul 31, 2011
    Isn't a low time per day viewed good for their bottom line? They charge between $10 and $20 regardless of the amount content a subscriber streams. With lower usage comes lower bandwidth costs.
  25. KPandian1 macrumors 65816

    Oct 22, 2013
    Somebody, please start a rival HBO-like production group. This one is going to sink in the Marina Trench.

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