When AT&T announced that they were launching their own streaming service will all Warner Bros. content, many rightfully assumed it was a cash grab to recoup the money spent on the deal. While they have been raising prices of the products, possibly shutting down DC Universe, and dealing with post-Game of Thrones HBO, we may have an idea just how much that WarnerMedia streaming service will cost.
The package will cost “between $16 and $17 a month,” a strange pricing strategy, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. Which is weird. Not that they are landing on that price point, instead of either $15 or $20. Follow me on this.
HBO NOW costs $14.99 a month. Plus, they are adding Cinemax and likely a bunch of WB/DC movies and television shows for a couple more bucks more a month. WSJ reported that the service is expected to be fully up and running next March. Eventually, the service will introduce its own original programming as well, though after Swamp Thing’s treatment things could change quickly.
WarnerMedia is also considering a less expensive ad-supported version of the service sometime in 2020. Previously, Jeff Stankey, the CEO of WarnerMedia, announced that AT&T’s streaming video service would have three different (and confusing) price tiers. So with this report, we’re down to possibly two tiers. Or maybe one initially.
It’s unclear how the WarnerMedia can measure to service already available. It’s still more expensive than Hulu or Netflix’s current $5.99 and $12.99/month plans, respectively. Much more expensive than the soon-to-be-launched Disney+ service announced at $6.99/month. There’s also Amazon Prime Video, which works out to about $10/month with all the other added benefits of Prime. Oh, and there’s also the Apple TV Plus subscription, which has yet to announce a price or launch date but at least boasts a slew of high-profile collaborations in the works.
It remains to be seen where the WarnerMedia service fits in this crowded landscape. Judging by how much AT&T is trying to turn their WarnerMedia streaming service, along with all the other properties, into their own cash cow – it will end badly.