WarnerMedia, which owns HBO, TNT, TBS, CNN, and Adult Swim, might prefer streaming show premieres before broadcasting it on TV, according to a new report from The Information.
That means the new season of a popular program would first show up on its streaming service before premiering on TV as it normally would.
WarnerMedia is currently developing its own streaming service to rival Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and soon, Disney+. It's expected to launch in 2020, with a beta version scheduled to roll out later this year.
WarnerMedia Streaming Service
Given how popular streaming has become in several years past, it's no wonder why WarnerMedia would pull off something like this. Like a strategic move, putting shows up for streaming first might encourage audiences to eke out a subscription to watch their favorite content immediately instead of waiting for the TV premiere dates.
It's not clear yet which shows will get a streaming debut. But there is a treasure trove of content at WarnerMedia's disposal given the number of networks it owns. However, the planned service is expected to face some tough competition, especially with Game of Thrones wrapping up this year. As Engadget notes, adding perks such as the ability to watch shows before they hit regular broadcast, may help toward collecting more viewers.
But it's not certain how long that perk can last. At some point WarnerMedia would have to put compelling content on its service that would make it irresistible. In fact, that's exactly what Netflix is doing as it ramps up production on more original shows and takes a slight step back on licensed content. Disney, which now also owns 20th Century Fox, is almost certainly pulling any content it owns from Netflix once its own service launches, potentially incurring a content drought on its biggest competitor.
Still, HBO alone has an excellent track record when it comes to original programming, having picked up a room-full of Emmy trophies just in the last few years for Veep, Barry, Big Little Lies, and many more. Whether or not this is enough for WarnerMedia to convince users to subscribe remains to be determined, though. Streaming, too, might look differently in 2020, especially with Disney+ aiming to shake up the landscape later this year.
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