We recently learned a whole lot about WarnerMedia's upcoming streaming service HBO Max, which looks to take on Netflix in the great streaming wars ahead. The service will boast a ton of attractive TV shows such as South Park, a new Game of Thrones prequel, DC movies and TV shows, tons of Warner Bros. blockbuster movies and much more. But now we've learned that lovers of classic cinema may want to pay attention, as a collection of classics will be hitting the service as well.
Over on the HBO Max Twitter account, a large thread previewing what's to come on the service revealed what potential subscribers can expect. Somewhat buried underneath all of that information was the reveal that Turner Classic Movies will be curating a selection of titles for the service, such as Citizen Kane, The Shining and Casablanca, just to name a few.
"We've worked with experts at TCM, champions in this space for 25 years, to curate a collection of the best classic films anywhere. The curated classics collection spans genres and decades, including award-winners Casablanca, Citizen Kane, The Shining, and A Star is Born, Singin' in the Rain, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and many more."
Many classic cinema junkies will surely recall when Warner's FilmStruck service was shut down last year. That proved to be a haven in the streaming landscape for classic movies. Netflix, Hulu and others in the streaming space simply don't offer much in the way of classics, which is why many were devastated when FilmStruck was shut down. It was subsequently replaced by The Criterion Channel earlier this year, which has helped to fill the void a bit.
With Disney+, Apple TV+ and NBC's Peacock also entering the streaming wars against Netflix, one has to wonder what WarnerMedia's strategy will ultimately be on this front. Will they continue to split their business with niche services like The Criterion Channel and DC Universe once HBO Max launches? Or will they do away with those services and effectively fold that business into HBO Max? From a consumer standpoint, that might make sense. The Criterion Channel runs $9.99 per month, whereas HBO Max will go for $14.99 per month. A lot more bang for the buck. It also makes sense from a business standpoint. Funnel everyone to one place instead of dividing the subscriber base.
In any event, classic, curated content is one hardcore advantage WarnerMedia will have when it comes to the competition. Disney, on the other hand, is locking away many classic titles it inherited in the Fox merger in the vault, to the chagrin of many theater owners and classic cinema fans. So don't expect to see Disney pull something similar on Hulu. NBCUniversal, meanwhile, simply doesn't have the same resources to put together an attractive library of classics for Peacock. At least not on that same level as Warner Bros.' parent company. HBO Max streaming service is set to launch in May 2020.