AT&T plans to overload it's WarnerMedia streaming service with content in a bid to ensure it offers the most content for the money.
This is a based on a new Bloomberg report which credits the sentiment to comments given by WarnerMedia CEO, John Stankey.
Clearly looking to position the service as a value-oriented solution, WarnerMedia is keen to make sure the service offers more than consumers could get elsewhere - for the price.
This tallies well with recent reports that have pointed to WarnerMedia abandoning the idea of a multi-tiered pricing approach. It has previously been thought WarnerMedia would arrive to market with three pricing options thereby offering those who spend more, more. Although that now seems to have been replaced with one initial price and the general idea that everyone will get more, and more of everything.
Speaking on the price, Stankey was noted saying, “It will be straightforward, compelling and simple to make one choice” with the added suggestion the price will come in at around $15 - although no firm decision on the exact cost has been made.
Pricing the service in or around $15 matches well with other reports that have highlighted how HBO is proving to be a headache for AT&T and WarnerMedia.
HBO is expected to be the backbone of the upcoming service and AT&T and WarnerMedia are thought to be keen to lower the new services’s price as much as possible to ensure it can compete with other services. However, with HBO currently priced at $15, there’s only so low it can go without eating into the revenue that’s already being generated by the popular subscription option.
It had been speculated AT&T might simply look to solve this issue by maintaining the HBO pricing and just offer all of the additional WarnerMedia-related content alongside the HBO content for free. A point that’s largely been reiterated in this latest report.
Regardless of the price, it is clear the content-first approach is exactly the strategy AT&T is planning to move forward with. The report points out how CNN will work on creating even more documentaries, while additional movie content will come through the Warner Bros. side of the business, as well as more animation and kid-friendly programming coming courtesy of Cartoon Network.
Having this extra content come from these other parts of the business will also look to ensure HBO retains its brand integrity - something that had been a concern internally at HBO since AT&T took over.
Another element to the ‘content war’ that AT&T is looking to win, it is also widely expected AT&T and WarnerMedia will stop the licensing out of content to other providers and services. An aspect which will mean that anyone who wants to consume any of the past, present or future WarnerMedia content will need to go through the WarnerMedia service to do so.
This is not an approach that’s specific to WarnerMedia, as others, including Disney, are believed to be doing the same thing. However, as WarnerMedia has such a large stockpile of content to draw on, the exclusivity of that stockpile is going to be one of its main strengths and likely why AT&T and WarnerMedia are now so keen to build out that stockpile even more.