So much is going on over at Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) proper now.
The corporate’s newly anointed high brass are canning main films and TV exhibits en masse – regardless of their value (Batgirl) or crucial reception (Gordita Chronicles) – whereas the threat of mass layoffs (opens in new tab) looms gloomily over those that work for its streaming divisions.
The restructuring comes as WBD makes an attempt to trim round $3 billion from its working prices, financial savings that it supposedly plans to pour again into content material creation when its grand ambition – a brand new all-things-to-all-people super streamer – involves cross in 2023.
The platform in query will see the conglomerate merge its present HBO Max and Discovery Plus properties right into a single, all-encompassing streaming service that gives “one thing for everybody within the family”, in accordance with WBD honcho JB Perrette.
At current, WBD’s leisure providing contains, amongst different networks, HBO, CNN, DC Comics, Discovery Channel, Meals Community, HGTV, Magnolia Community, OWN, TBS and TNT – all of which will likely be folded into this as but unnamed streamer, starting in 2023.
Sounds good, proper? Properly, probably not. Along with these aforementioned worker cutbacks, the launch of mentioned streaming service will come on the expense of HBO Max, which has flourished right into a bastion of status programming within the two years since its launch.
Sure, HBO’s main tentpole successes – suppose Euphoria and Succession – will inevitably be shuffled onto this mysterious new platform, however WBD has expressed an specific want to trim down the manufacturing of scripted content material, and suffice to say, customers aren’t completely happy.
The crumbling of HBO Max earlier than our eyes is infuriating. Not as a result of we must always love HBO unconditionally however as a result of the service has simply one of the best library of basic exhibits and films AND daring originals that by no means really feel like they’re made by algorithms.August 3, 2022
if HBO Max actually is folding into Discovery Plus and ditching all of the scripted content material that could be the only dumbest resolution made by any company within the streaming ageAugust 3, 2022
As alluded to so eloquently within the above tweets, WBD’s resolution to scale down authentic programming spells hassle for the fame of HBO, which is well known because the foremost producer of premium tv due to crucial, business, and cultural hits like Recreation of Thrones, Chernobyl, The Sopranos, Band of Brothers, and The Wire.
Upcoming IP-based productions together with House of the Dragon and The Last of Us TV show will try to proceed that custom, however the place will the brand new concepts come from? WBD seems to be foolishly playing on the notion that subscribers will flip to the unscripted content material supplied by the Discovery Channel, CNN, and TBS after they’re all out of premium TV to look at.
In any case, the corporate appears set on its new grasp plan for streaming. “On the finish of the day, placing all of the content material collectively was the one manner we noticed to make this a viable enterprise”, Perrette advised analysts. Honest sufficient, but when HBO is to stay TV’s golden community, WBD should reassess its dedication (or lack thereof) to boundary-pushing authentic programming.
If not, the conglomerate dangers enduring the identical criticisms lately leveled at Netflix, whose squishing collectively of mass-produced movies, series, and reality productions has left it leaking subscribers and within the midst of a reputational spiral.
The HBO title is hallowed on the earth of small display screen leisure – and Warner Bros. Discovery can be smart to do not forget that.