When HBO Max first launched, one of WarnerMedia’s main selling points was having the set Harry Potter collection available in streaming. Three months later, this is no longer the case.
An email detailing what’s coming in and out of HBO Max in August points out that the eight films, from Harry Potter at the Wizarding School at Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 2, will be leaving the service on August 25. It’s unclear where the films will end up, but speculation is already circulating about moving the films to NBCUniversal’s new streaming service, Peacock.
Indeed, years before the launch of HBO Max, WarnerMedia signed an agreement with NBCUniversal which granted the latter company exclusive rights to the Harry Potter series until 2025. Thanks to this agreement, most insiders have assumed Harry Potter, one of WarnerMedia’s biggest properties, would not be on HBO Max for years to come. The night before HBO Max launched, however, executives at WarnerMedia made a deal with NBCUniversal to have the eight Harry Potter movies premiered on HBO Max. Now those same movies are going. We don’t know when these films will return, but The edge has contacted HBO Max for comment.
While aspects of the deal are unclear – perhaps WarnerMedia only signed for a three-month window – it’s a strange situation that highlights the complicated nature of a sector with multiple streaming services . Peacock and HBO Max want to use their biggest IP to attract subscribers, but NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia can generate additional revenue by distributing these movies and TV shows to others, like Netflix and Hulu. For consumers, that means keeping a watchful eye on every streamer every month.
the Harry Potter franchise is just one example. At the end of May, when HBO Max launched, customers learned that the movies HBO Max had launched on – including Justice League – would leave after only a month. Justice League was about to leave the service for a while, but there are plans to return to HBO Max sometime in 2020, a spokesperson said. The edge at the time. While it would eventually come back, the innuendo was that Justice League – a central part of the DC extended universe that subscribers assumed was on HBO Max – would not be there for an unknown length of time. WarnerMedia ultimately ended up extending the length of the film on the streamer.
Peacock is in the same boat. NBCUniversal’s streaming service just launched last week, but is already facing questions about the outgoing titles that were there on launch day. Big hitters like Shrek and the jurassic park trilogy, alongside 2009 Fast and furious, have disappeared or are about to leave. the jurassic park the trilogy goes to Netflix in August. The matrix The trilogy, which NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia touted as a perk of subscribing to their streaming services, leaves Peacock next month. We don’t know where The matrix trilogy will end, but HBO Max seems likely. The Mummy and The mummy returns are also gone. Internal of the business community A spokesperson for Peacock said that “movies come and go from the platform on a regular basis.”
Conglomerates like WarnerMedia or NBCUniversal have treasures of valuable intellectual property. They can license this IP to other streamers like Netflix who are more than willing to pay for content that might attract subscribers. As long as NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia can generate additional revenue – and as long as it doesn’t have a negative impact on their own streaming ecosystem – they will likely continue to do so. “Syndication” is an easy way for a business to earn income from intellectual property it has purchased for a reasonable fee.
It’s something industry insiders call film windowing. The films appear for a while, then roll out, to be brought back later in the year. While it’s common practice, the way people consume entertainment is changing – and they’re noticing that headlines come and go now more than they perhaps did in the cable heyday when the Star wars the films would be broadcast on TNT for a certain time.
Things look different now. People know when a block of movies, especially high-profile titles like the Harry Potter collection or jurassic park trilogy, suddenly are no longer there. The media cover it every month. It’s almost impossible to just integrate or deploy entire blocks of high-level movies and TV shows without anyone noticing.
In reality, people don’t want to have to switch from streamer to streamer to find a title – especially when said conglomerates have marketed their new streaming services on the promise that people could stream those movies or TV shows if they did. ‘subscribed. To take Harry Potter: If the movies end up playing on a streamer like Peacock, that’s potentially another service that people have to sign up for to watch something they thought was on HBO Max.
None of this accounts for movies like Hobbs and Shaw or Fast Five, which are produced and owned by Universal (the studio behind Peacock) but broadcast on HBO Max due to pre-existing agreements. Exclusive windows and deals are a problem! Trying to keep track of everything is tedious, as my colleague Chaim Gartenberg recently wrote. Since the era of exclusive streaming has really come into effect in the past half decade, content has been fragmented and windowing titles have made browsing much more frustrating. Ten years ago most things were on Netflix or Hulu; now they are everywhere.
Of course, there are a few streamers who are not interested in windowing. Netflix Originals isn’t leaving Netflix, and Disney’s biggest franchises aren’t suddenly going to leave Disney Plus for three months at a time; Star wars Marvel movies and the Marvel Cinematic Universe live entirely on Disney Plus. For other streamers, including HBO Max, Peacock, and CBS All Access, expect titles big and small to turn inward and outward.