Warner Bros. Discovery wants to share HBO

Warner Bros. Discovery shops its HBO library

Together with

The Future. Warner Bros. Discovery is making the surprising move of licensing out its premium HBO shows to other streamers, likely heralding the end of keeping titles exclusive to woo subscribers. If anything, the move is more like the old ways of cable, licensing out older titles for hefty sums with the hope of finding a new audience — a decision that could benefit profit-searching streamers and creators who will get a fresh wave of residuals.

Homes box office
In the new world of streaming, squeezing revenue is more important than staying exclusive.

  • WBD is reportedly in talks to license HBO titles to Netflix (which is on a hunt to refill its library), starting with the Issa Rae comedy Insecure.
  • The deal hasn’t closed yet, but it would be non-exclusive, meaning that HBO shows will still be on Max even if they’re on other streamers.

The deal hasn’t been supported by HBO execs but was overruled by WBD execs looking to monetize library titles within an inch of its life (that debt isn’t going to pay down itself). It’s the same ethos that led the studio to move titles like Westworld off of Max and onto FAST platforms.

WBD has already tested the waters with Insecure, putting the show on its cable network, OWN. The company must’ve been pretty happy with its viewership there, prompting the move to search for new audiences on rival services.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


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