HBO Max

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by trip1eX, Jul 9, 2019.

  1. wmcbrine

    wmcbrine Well-Known Mumbler

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    I agree with most of what you wrote, but I can't see them surrendering all that premium linear channel space as long as it still has value.
     
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  2. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I think for most Americans (at least those old enough to have their own established household), paying for home internet service is just something they've been doing for years and not something they'd ever think of doing without, regardless of whether or not the bulk of their video entertainment rides over it. Internet access is now so woven into most of our lives -- for shopping, banking, keeping in touch with family and friends, working from home, reading news, watching viral clips, etc. -- that it's become like electricity, just a basic cost-of-living expense that you can't do without.

    Speaking of electricity, an LA Times article said that a typical cable DVR (even just sitting idle most of the time) consumes about $8/mo in electricity (using typical SoCal pricing from 2014). That's nearly $100 per year, and just for one unit!

    Cable TV boxes become 2nd biggest energy users in many homes
     
  3. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Except I don't know what other channels that WarnerMedia would want to use those slots for. TNT 2? I think we're going to see fewer, not more, linear cable channels as we go through the 2020s.

    I agree that there's probably some short-term pain for them in terms of killing off Cinemax but given that the plan is to ultimately have more subs for HBO Max than HBO plus Cinemax currently have, and with higher profit margins for WarnerMedia (i.e. smaller cuts given to their distribution partners) than they currently get on either HBO or Cinemax, I think the move makes long-term sense.

    Earlier this year, AT&T introduced new default channel packages on DirecTV Now, named Plus and Max. Both packages automatically include HBO while Max also includes Cinemax. But even though this service, as well as HBO and Cinemax, are all owned by AT&T, they're only including the HBO, HBO Family, HBO Latino and Cinemax linear channels. Why? That should tell us something about where AT&T sees those services going. The emphasis going forward will be on on-demand consumption. And to the extent that HBO linear channels still exist, it will only be the ones that are truly differentiated and have a reason to exist. What's the point of HBO Comedy, HBO Zone or HBO Signature when all that stuff is on-demand anyhow? Going forward, linear channels exist more as branding vehicles. HBO wants to advertise that HBO Max contains plenty of stuff for kids and varying demographics, so they'll keep HBO Family and HBO Latino (mostly Spanish-language content). I expect that the one Cinemax channel on DirecTV Now will survive by becoming an HBO channel focused solely on theatrical films, HBO Cinema. I expect all four live channels to stream inside the HBO Max app too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
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  4. Joe3

    Joe3 Active Member

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    HBO is sooo screwed.
     
  5. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Since when is there a Netflix with Ads? The different tiers dictate how many screens you can watch on simultaneously and whether or not you can access 4K content. There are never ads.

    By contrast Amazon runs stupid ads for their own original shows before every episode. It's annoying.
     
  6. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Ah. Well, note the line I wrote above all those points:

    "In a year or two, I can imagine we'll have something like the following line-up of subscription video-on-demand services (SVODs)."

    You're absolutely right that Netflix so far never contained ads. It's also true that Showtime and Starz are not a combined service (yet), or that CBS All Access has absorbed the channels and content of Viacom and AMC Networks. I wrote all that as what I see as plausible predictions for, say, 2021.

    A lot of analysts are already saying that Netflix will eventually be compelled to offer a cheaper version of their service that includes forced ads. I think they're right. Netflix is a not a premium service, it's a big mainstream service that tries to offer something for everyone. Other competing services like Hulu and CBS All Access offer their service two ways: with ads for less, without ads for more. HBO Max will launch ad-free but has already indicated that they plan to introduce a cheaper plan with ads later on. The forthcoming NBCU SVOD will do the same, they've already told us.

    I expect Apple TV+ and maybe Prime Video to always stay ad-free, but then neither of those seems like they're going to be big, broad mainstream services that exist only to be profitable in their own right. (And despite your dislike of those pre-show trailers on Prime Video, they're not considered to be "ads" in the industry. Most ad-free services do that, although you can usually FF through them if you like.)
     
  7. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    There is a Showtime+Starz bundle for Hulu, so I assumed that was what you were referring to there. I didn't see the part where you said "I can imagine".
     
  8. TonyD79

    TonyD79 Well-Known Member

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    They are already at or beyond the point of what it costs to have basic cable to get a decent amount of programming. The only people saving money are those who don’t watch much television. So, the prices would have to come down.
     
  9. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. I didn't know that Hulu offered that special 6-month bundle pricing. Of course, Showtime and Starz are currently owned by two separate corporations (CBS and Lionsgate, respectively). I wonder if both CBS and Lionsgate consented to Hulu's bundle pricing offer as an experiment to see how consumers would respond. $15 makes sense to me as a bundle for the two (as separate services) as opposed to the normal $20 price ($11 + $9).

    As you may know, CBS has already put out an unsolicited bid to purchase Starz. That bidding is on hold right now as CBS and Viacom negotiate the terms of their merger. But once that's done, the word is that CBS will turn back to Starz. My guess is that they end up buying all of Lionsgate, not just Starz. Given that Lionsgate actually owns content (both a movie and TV studio) and Starz basically just rents content on a long-term (or sometimes short-term) basis, buying the whole company would make the most sense, IMO. Analysts also predict that CBS won't stop there because they need to scale up. But the only other options out there after Lionsgate would appear to be Sony Pictures, Discovery, AMC Networks, A+E Networks, Crown Media (Hallmark channels), and MGM (Epix + a film library mainly featuring Bond movies).
     
  10. warrenn

    warrenn Active Member

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    Netflix is already adding game shows. I saw one called "Awake", where contestants are kept up for 24 hours and then compete.
     
  11. Luke M

    Luke M Member

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    That's a strange perception given that Netflix has basically been copying HBO, only major difference being that HBO has sports and Netflix doesn't.
     
  12. Adam C.

    Adam C. Active Member

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    Who is the target demographic for HBO these days? In my opinion HBO has gone downhill since the glory days of The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, etc. Aside from Game of Thrones (which I have never seen and never want to see), I never even hear about HBO anymore, nor do I know anyone that watches it.
     
  13. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

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    Last Week Tonight and Real Time are the only two I watch, And I get those from YouTube.
     
  14. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, I think the new management at AT&T wants to expand the demographic to include virtually every available set of eyeballs out there. We shall see to what degree their plans wind up diluting the HBO brand.

    IMHO, there is still no comparison today to the breadth of quality programming on HBO. I have more OP's to HBO series than I do to any other single channel/provider.
     
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  15. Adam C.

    Adam C. Active Member

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    I have always been more of a Showtime guy...Shameless is one of my all time favorite shows. But even so I would never pay for the network. I have always gotten it for free from various promotions over the years.
     
  16. Adam C.

    Adam C. Active Member

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    I used to watch LWT when it first started, but that guy is such a leftist it became painful to watch. Hmmm, maybe I just answered my own question about target demographics LOL
     
  17. OrangeCrush

    OrangeCrush Active Member

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    There are and will continue to be bundled offers for limited periods of time and whatnot. i.e. Tmobile & Netflix; Spotify & Hulu, etc., but compared to traditional Cable & Satellite TV the barriers to switching will always be lower. No required equipment, having an installer out, etc. The ease of switching video providers and no need for leasing equipment or amortizing installation costs makes it very difficult for a provider to lock-in customers with a contract. They could try, but nobody wants to go first.

    What's more likely are these bundled deals will continue and expand. I have T-mobile anyway, so Netflix is effectively $2/mo for at least the next 12 months which makes me unlikely to cancel for the foreseeable future. Amazon video is effectively bundled w/ the free shipping, so I'm not likely to get rid of that either.

    Same reason we're not talking about the power bill. It's assumed that most people are going to have home Internet regardless of which video services they subscribe to. This is not true for everyone--some people might not want home internet if they have traditional TV services, or the local provider might offer bundling discounts that should be taken in to account for apples-to-apples comparisons.

    Only if you subscribe to just about everything all the time and what you consider a "decent" amount of programming. A "fully loaded" cable package can be over $300/mo. The number and value proposition isn't going to be the same for everybody, but the beauty of cord-cutting is it allows people to make the choices that best suit them. Traditional TV is take-it-or-leave it. You like the packages offered or you don't.

    For my situation, taking Internet out of it, cable TV would cost about $70/mo. I actually pay $32/mo and have access to all of the linear channels, on-demand and streaming media I care about.
     
  18. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    I think when Netflix first went all-in on streaming, yes, their game was to imitate HBO. "We bet we can become HBO faster than HBO can become us," (or something to that effect) was the famous quote from a Netflix leader back then. So Netflix started offering originals like House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, stuff that felt like HBO or Showtime originals.

    But then Netflix very much made a conscious decision to broaden their horizons and ambitions with the quantity and types of original content it was making. As yesterday's article (which I highly recommend) from the NYTimes states:

    Yang says that when he first started working with Netflix, the feeling was: “We don’t see ourselves becoming the next HBO; we see ourselves becoming the entirety of cable.”
    That quote completely validates everything that I've felt about Netflix over the past year or so. They seem to want to replicate and replace the entire cable TV universe (with the important exceptions of live sports, live news, and local content), but presented in an algorithmically-curated on-demand format. I left basic cable behind several years ago because, despite a few good things here and there, it was largely a channel-surfing wasteland for me. For my tastes, the good stuff was on the premium services plus some stuff here and there on the major broadcast networks and PBS. But now we're seeing Netflix produce a glut of content trying to appeal to all demographics, tastes and interests, at varying budgets and quality levels. So sifting through the stuff on Netflix and finding something worth my time is now a bit like the old days of surfing through all those basic cable channels and finding little worth watching.

    Don't get me wrong: there are some great Netflix Originals out there. But there's a whole lot of crap on Netflix too.
     
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  19. smark

    smark Well-Known Member

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    I think you will see pullback there.
     
  20. trip1eX

    trip1eX Well-Known Member

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    There are other shows one can watch on Netflix. :)

    Not to mention a $15 Netflix subscription supports 4 simultaneous users. :)
     

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