Ever since the meteoric rise of Netflix, every content platform has looked to throw its hat into the streaming service ring. Even 5 or 6 years ago, there were only a handful of streaming platforms, but now it feels like there are as many streaming services as there are cable channels! It takes a lot of smart business decisions and great content to keep up with the behemoths that are Netflix and Amazon Prime. One platform that has been faltering in recent times is HBO Max.
HBO Max proved a popular choice during the pandemic, as the company exceeded its subscriber target by 800,000 – clocking in at 73.8 million. However, those figures include people who pay for HBO via their cable subscription, and it’s unknown how many of their 73.8 million subscribers would be classed as cable subscribers. Either way, up against Disney+’s 118 million subscribers and Netflix’s 214 million subscribers, it showed that HBO Max deserved to be in the conversation, even if it wasn’t quite at the level of the established platforms. One of the things it had going for it was the partnership with Warner Bros. During 2021, Warner Bros. allowed HBO Max to stream some of its biggest blockbusters, such as The Suicide Squad, Dune, and Godzilla Vs. Kong, on their platform, while they were still in cinemas.
Unfortunately, this was a temporary measure while people still couldn’t safely make it to the cinema. In 2022, the deal was revised so that these films must be in theatres for at least 45 days before they can be shown on HBO Max. Then, in further bad news for the company, the deal was altered even more, and there was no guarantee that a Warner Bros. film would get a streaming release after 45 days in cinemas. This was a huge blow for HBO Max, as a big part of their appeal during the pandemic was that they were showing the blockbusters while they were in theatres, and now they’re not even guaranteed a streaming release!
Warner Bros. and HBO Max are tightly linked, as it’s been announced that Warner Bros.’s streaming service, Discovery+, will be merging with HBO Max in 2023. However, while HBO Max has been on the rise with its original content, such as the new Game of Thrones prequel, House of the Dragon, and reunions of old shows such as Friends, Warner Bros have been on the way down. Rather than releasing hit content, they’ve been cancelling shows and pulling projects left and right.
One of the most notable projects that won’t launch is Leslie Grace’s Batgirl, which was shelved at the start of August. Despite costing $90 million to shoot, and with it being an almost finished film, Warner Bros. decided that it didn’t make economic sense to release it due to the large outlay that would be required for marketing. This caused a furor on Twitter and other social media platforms, as people called for the film’s release. While there are rumors that the film had poor reactions to test screenings, the fact that the decision not to release a film that people have worked so hard on was based purely on financial motives speaks to the company’s attitude to filmmaking.
In a move that seems to copy the Warner Bros. business model, HBO Max has removed many cartoons from its streaming lineup as part of the merger with Discovery+. This decision also drew ire from users of the streaming service, as HBO Max was the last place you could see many of those shows anywhere in the world, from counties in the Middle East such as Bahrain, all the way to the US, meaning that a great deal would be lost forever. We’re yet to see the full extent of the ramifications for both Warner Bros. and HBO Max, and a lot of people are betting on the outcome of it by either buying or shorting the shares of the two companies. You really can bet on anything these days, but most people prefer to gamble on traditional games like roulette, online slots, and craps; for most people, it’s an enjoyable pastime that can be enjoyed anywhere in the world. However, it’s important that you always practice safety when gambling; because in countries in the Middle East, like Bahrain, a VPN is required to play on offshore sites, as ISPs block most casino sites. Reading reviews and only playing on sites that come highly recommended are the best ways to locate online casinos in Bahrain. Reputable casino sites will provide an excellent range of games, fast and friendly customer service, as well as comprehensive security measures to keep your money and data safe. These sites will also offer safe and secure payment methods for deposits and withdrawals. Bank cards like Visa or Mastercard will be blocked, so you need to use e-wallets or crypto to make your deposits. Hopefully, any gamble you make will work out better than HBO’s decision to partner with Warner Bros!