If Disney+ is the exclusive streaming service for Disney to showcase its media and original content, then Warner Bros. under WarnerMedia has HBO Max as its counterpart. True, it is not as exclusive as Disney+ (Disney itself is a third-party content provider for their library), but it does have some formidable exclusive originals that might be worth subscribing to HBO Max for, like “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” for those disappointed by the 2017 release version. WarnerMedia does seem aware that its offerings are somewhat lacking in what Disney+ and even Netflix have lots of, so they are starting to get more content appropriate for kids.
According to The Verge, HBO Max is looking towards its content providers for more all-ages media to add to its streaming offerings. To do so, it is shining the spotlight on one of these (first-party) providers, being a fellow production unit under WarnerMedia: Cartoon Network. The cable network, run by WB Entertainment, has already been adding some of its shows to HBO Max. Now however, the platform is looking on CN to help give them a more child-friendly place to binge-stream, and perhaps even take away some young viewers already invested in Disney+ and Netflix.
Netflix for example has been determined in a 2020 study by Morning Consult saw that 55 percent of children in their survey, aged 5-12, would go to Netflix for shows to watch. Almost all of the remaining 65 percent would turn to YouTube. Furthermore, these children are those who are relying more on streaming platforms to watch the media they want, while jumping ship from “traditional” sources like TV. Iconic children’s channel Nickelodeon actually saw its viewer count decrease from 2015 to 2020 by half. It is no surprise then that HBO Max content head Casey Bloys is being tasked to allocate content to cover all members of the family.
From its unveiling to its launch in May 2020, HBO Max has had the reputation of being the “grownups’ streaming service.” Working on the knowledge that children comprise a lot of streamers that could convince their parents to subscribe, HBO Max via Cartoon Network is going to begin developing all-ages content that could start arriving as early as next year. And they have to hurry, as Netflix and Disney+ consolidate their lead, and Paramount+ begins shaping up Nickelodeon as their own children’s content provider too.
Image courtesy of Hollywood Reporter