Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

HBO needs to become more like Netflix, new chief suggests

Enlarge  Dolores can't abide a drop in HBO's Enlarge Dolores can't abide a drop in HBO's
Julia Gonzales | 13 July, 2018, 00:59

In their own words, some tough times are ahead for the venerable network. Well now we get to find out because AT&T has bought it and recently served notice that things are going to have to change around here.

Warner Media CEO John Stankey told HBO employees to anticipate a tough year to come at the company, The New York Times reported.

According to a recording of the town hall obtained by The New York Times, Stankey emphasized the need to expand both in content and subscribers, without losing the identity of the network that has always been associated with quality.

Despite was seems like a drastic recent change, reports have existed in regards to a shift in HBO programming more than a year before the new ownership was cemented, with the content creator hoping to expand in some forms beyond its finely curated one night a week programming with hour-long episodes. He went on to clarify, "It's going to be a lot of work to alter and change direction a little bit".

While that specific change idea seems to have died off, the goal behind it - making major changes to HBO's business model - will live on.

Stankey said "hours a day" of engagement will be HBO's new focus with their content, rather than "hours a week" or "hours a month". "It's not hours a week, and it's not hours a month", he said. "We need hours a day. You are competing with devices that sit in people's hands that capture their attention every 15 minutes".

In case a wholesale switch to quantitative KPIs wasn't entirely self-explanatory, Stankey persisted.

Monster Hunter World to debut on PC on August 9
The companies will produce and co-finance the upcoming special, written by " Ultimate Spider-Man's" Joshua Fine. Capcom is working closely with Western production company Pure Imagination Studios on this intriguing project.

Get access to our daily newsletters, Best Stocks List, POWR Ratings, and much more! Why are more hours of engagement important?

If comments like that don't get the HBO incumbents pumped then we don't know what will. Thankfully for HBO fans, AT&T wants to make HBO more like Netflix. The executive made it clear that while HBO is popular with its subscribers, he wanted it to dominate the media landscape in the same way services like Netflix do.

"Yes, you do", Mr. Stankey said. Plepler mentions that HBO was profitable and Stankey said that it's "just not enough". It's this that could be an essential ingredient in Stankey's vision for transforming HBO.

Stankey wants HBO to make more money and significantly increase the number of subscribers in the USA and worldwide.

HBO has made a steady profit; for the past three years, it's put more than $2 billion a year toward programming, while making a profit of nearly $6 billion.

HBO has 40 million subscribers in the United States and 142 million worldwide, but Stankey said that AT&T intends to make HBO "a much more common product". Stankey reportedly said simply, "I do believe there needs to be stepped-up investment", later adding, "We've got to make money at the end of the day, right?"

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