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  1. #1
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    [EN] Amazon Prime sem HBO em 2018

    HBO has decided to play the long game and build up the subscriber base for HBO Now rather than grab the cash from an SVOD library pact

    Cynthia Littleton
    May 3, 2017

    HBO has made the strategic decision to pull its library shows off of Amazon’s streaming service after the current licensing pact ends in mid-2018, HBO chairman-CEO Richard Plepler told investors Wednesday during Time Warner’s first-quarter earnings call.

    The move reflects HBO’s focus on growing the subscriber base of its HBO Now standalone digital service. Amazon Prime is among the many digital content providers that HBO has teamed with to market HBO Now.

    Plepler’s comments indicate that the pace of HBO Now sales through Amazon is strong enough that the licensing deal for a host of older series, including “The Sopranos” and “The Wire,” cut in 2014 no longer made sense. HBO Now’s features include an expansive on-demand library of virtually all HBO original series of the past three decades. In essence, the availability of older HBO shows on Amazon’s paid streaming platform amounted to competition for the library component of HBO Now.

    “I don’t think you’ll see us extend or expand our library programming on Amazon beyond the end of next year,” Plepler said. He cited the “enormous momentum” of sales through Amazon’s service set up to help market streaming offshoots of traditional TV channels such as HBO, Showtime and Starz.

    Plepler said HBO Now was also seeing strong momentum in sales through DirecTV Now, the low-cost digital MVPD service that launched late last year by AT&T. AT&T and HBO parent Time Warner, of course, are in the midst of an $85.4 billion merger that is expected to close by year-end, as Time Warner chairman-CEO Jeff Bewkes reiterated on the call.

    The Amazon licensing pact was estimated to be worth $250 millon-$300 million to HBO over the four-year term of the deal. Clearly, HBO has decided to play the long game and build up the subscriber base for HBO Now rather than grab the cash from an SVOD library pact.

    At the time the Amazon-HBO deal was announced, the plan was for newer HBO series such as “Game of Thrones” and “Girls” to become available to Amazon three years after a series finished the entirety of its original run on HBO. With the licensing deal ending next year, however, HBO’s current wave of shows will not make it to Amazon Prime.
    Última edição por 5ms; 03-05-2017 às 18:45.

  2. #2
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    One of Amazon Prime's most prized perks is going away

    Of the many benefits US-based Amazon Prime subscribers receive is free access to a decent selection of HBO’s back catalogue of high-quality TV through the Prime Video library. The Amazon deal was focused on older titles -- nothing that had premiered on HBO less than three years earlier could stream on Prime.

    UK viewers haven’t had HBO access through Prime or HBO Now due to the international licensing deals with UK providers like Sky.

    Josef Adalian

    Amazon Prime subscribers who’ve been using the service to binge older HBO series such as The Sopranos, Flight of the Concords,and Six Feet Under, take heed: A sudden departure is in the works. Richard Plepler, the network’s chairman and CEO, told investors today HBO has no plans to renew its output deal with Amazon Prime when it wraps up in May 2018. The move comes a week after Amazon started noting on its site that a number of big HBO shows would be leaving the service later this month, but then quickly backtracked and told Vulture a technical error was behind the messaging. “HBO titles are not coming off the service and will remain on Prime Video,” an Amazon Studios spokeswoman told us last week. But it turns out that while the HBO shows are safe on Amazon for now, they won’t be sticking around long — and the decision isn’t all that surprising. As with most such streaming shake-ups, ever-shifting strategic goals explain why the HBO shows are leaving.

    When HBO and Amazon got together for the Prime deal back in the spring of 2014, the arrangement made a lot of sense. Remember, at the time, HBO’s official company line was that if you wanted to stream HBO, you needed to first get a cable or satellite subscription. It said it didn’t want to devalue its product by cutting out its cable company partners. The deal with Amazon protected that relationship by leaving out some very big HBO programs (including Game of Thrones and True Detective) and insisting nothing that had premiered on HBO less than three years earlier could stream on Prime. It was designed to allow non-HBO subscribers to get a taste of the network’s greatest hits, possibly inspiring them to spring for a full subscription via their cable provider. And in the beginning, it seemed to be working well. At the time the deal was announced, Recode’s Peter Kafka reported the agreement ran three years, until May 2017. (Amazon’s coding error last week, which prompted the expiration notices, seems to confirm his reporting.) Given that the HBO shows will now stay on until mid-2018, it seems logical to assume that HBO and Amazon were happy enough with the arrangement to extend the pact another year.

    But barely six months after HBO and Amazon hooked up, HBO also had a change of heart about selling subscriptions directly to consumers (à la Netflix). It launched HBO Now, making both current and library titles available on demand to anyone with a broadband connection. The Amazon deal, focused on older titles, probably didn’t hurt HBO ability to get people to sign up for HBO Now. On the other hand, it also no longer made as much sense, at least in the long term (even if it did bring HBO a nice chunk of change). Plus, in the interim, Amazon also started letting networks such as HBO and Showtime sell digital subscriptions through Amazon as part of the Amazon Channels program. Having HBO library titles included in the cost of an Amazon Prime subscription even as Amazon and HBO were pushing Amazon customers to sign up for an Amazon Channels HBO service probably struck execs at HBO, Amazon, or both services as somewhat contradictory, or, at the very least, no longer part of HBO’s bigger streaming vision. And now, as Pleper indicated today, HBO finally believes there’s more benefit to keeping its shows in its own ecosystem rather than helping Amazon built up its Prime service.

  3. #3
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    Warner Bros.: Premium VoD window shortly after theatrical releases

    Warner Bros. boss Kevin Tsujihara talks about the creation of a possible premium VOD release window for films, saying the studio has had "constructive discussions with the exhibitors."

    Georg Szalai

    Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes was on Wednesday's quarterly earnings conference call, again joined by the heads of the conglomerate's three major divisions, who provided updates on key business topics.

    HBO CEO Richard Plepler on the call was asked about a deal with Amazon, unveiled in December, to sell HBO and Cinemax via Amazon Channels. He told analysts that there had been “enormous” subscriber momentum from the deal, as well as such other digital platforms as DirecTV Now, adding that the strong performance means that the company won’t extend its current licensing deal for HBO library shows with Amazon Prime beyond the end of 2018.

    "As we see the progress and sub revenue acceleration in our digital business, I don't think you are going to see us extend or expand our relationship with our library programming on Amazon, and we have no plans to do that beyond the end of the date, which is the end of next year," he said.

    HBO library content has been available to Amazon Prime subscribers via a licensing deal since 2014. Amazon is offering a streaming version of HBO for $14.99 and Cinemax for $9.99 per month. Plepler didn't share any subscriber figures for the company's offerings on Amazon Channels.

    Warner Bros. boss Kevin Tsujihara was, meanwhile, asked about talks about a possible premium VOD window shortly after theatrical releases, saying the studio has continued to have "constructive discussions with the exhibitors" about a model that would "hopefully" be "mutually beneficial." He said that "we're making good progress," adding that he and his team were "really excited" about the opportunity to give consumers more options, arguing that would overall create "a bigger pie" for the business.

    Turner CEO John Martin was asked about the company's portfolio of cable network brands and whether he feels a need to consolidate it amid cord cutting, contentious carriage negotiations and the possible disappearance of weaker niche channels. "I have been pretty outspoken ... that there are a lot of networks that are in existence today that add no value to consumers, yet get paid affiliate fees," he said. "Those will eventually go away. That will be good for us."

    He added that Turner has “incredibly popular networks and the most concentrated portfolio of popular networks in the United States. I don't see any need for further consolidation. I think other network groups are going to need to consolidate."

    Time Warner, which earlier Wednesday reported first-quarter earnings that exceeded Wall Street expectations, in late 2016 agreed to be acquired by AT&T for $85.4 billion.

    "We remain on track, pending completion of regulatory reviews and receipt of consents, to close our merger with AT&T Inc. before the end of 2017," said Bewkes in the earnings report. "We remain excited about the potential for this combination to accelerate the pace of innovation in our businesses." On the call, he added that his team was looking forward to innovating once the companies are combined.

    CNN's performance and outlook was also in focus amid the strong ratings for news networks early in President Donald Trump's tenure. But one hot topic didn't come up. A new 30-second Trump ad, touting the first 100 days of his presidency, includes a photo split of MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, CNN's Wolf Blitzer, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, ABC News' George Stephanopoulos and CBS News' Scott Pelley with red overlay text of "FAKE NEWS" on the anchors' faces. On Tuesday, CNN said it declined to air the Trump ad, because it included false information, namely saying mainstream outlets were "fake news."

    Bewkes on Wednesday in prepared remarks lauded CNN as a "trusted source" for news and analysis "in a complex world" and touted its most watched first quarter since 2003.

    Martin said news advertising trends are "incredibly, incredibly strong” due to the politicized climate, but he said the company has seen somewhat of a moderation early this quarter elsewhere amid “some uncertainty of the economy."

    Bewkes also lauded Last Week Tonight With John Oliver for having had its most watched quarter ever amid the increased interest in current affairs.

    Bewkes on Wednesday also lauded the continuing success of comedy network TBS, thanks to the likes of Samantha Bee, and said TNT was earlier in its programming refresh, but was looking forward to such upcoming shows as Will (about a young William Shakespeare), and Claws.

    The Time Warner CEO also provided an update on an HBO hit show, saying: "We are now putting the finishing touches on season seven of Game of Thrones, which returns in July."

    And Bewkes lauded the strong recent performance of the finale of Lena Dunham's HBO series Girls, adding: "We're already in development on two new projects with Lena Dunham."

    It is known that Dunham and HBO have been developing a project tied to her digital newsletter Lenny, plus she previously sold a comedy series pilot to HBO.

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