WarnerMedia has unveiled HBO Max as the name of its forthcoming direct-to-consumer streaming platform.
Scheduled to launch commercially in spring of 2020, the digital service will be “anchored with and inspired by the legacy of HBO’s excellence and award-winning storytelling” with exclusive original programming dubbed Max Originals, while also highlighting WarnerMedia’s extensive portfolio of brands and libraries.
At launch, the platform expected to encompass more than 10,000 of premium fiction and non-fiction content, though a comprehensive list of unscripted titles has yet to be revealed.
HBO’s programming president Casey Bloys will continue to manage content on the new service, with investment in HBO original programming having been increased by 50% over normal spending.
Kevin Reilly, president of the Warner Media Entertainment Networks that include TNT, TBS, and truTV, also serves as chief content officer of HBO Max overseeing all new Max Originals and library content. In May Reilly was reupped to a multi-year contract ending in 2022.
Otter Media CEO Tony Goncalves, meanwhile, now oversees the development of HBO Max with former Hulu CEO Andy Forssell as general manager.
Former Lionsgate veteran executive Jennifer O’Connell, who in May joined the AT&T-owned entertainment conglomerate WarnerMedia, serves as EVP of original non-fiction and kids. Jessie Henderson, meanwhile, is EVP of original feature films for the direct-to-consumer streaming platform. The pair report to Sarah Aubrey, head of original content.
“HBO Max will bring together the diverse riches of WarnerMedia to create programming and user experiences not seen before in a streaming platform. HBO’s world-class programming leads the way, the quality of which will be the guiding principle for our new array of Max Originals, our exciting acquisitions, and the very best of the Warner Bros. libraries,” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and direct-to-consumer, in a statement.
He added: “Under the leadership of two of the strongest creative visionaries — Casey Bloys (HBO) and Kevin Reilly (original content and acquisitions) — and two of the most experienced digital experts — Tony Goncalves and Andy Forssell — I have no doubt they and their dedicated teams will deliver the world’s best storytelling to audiences of all ages wherever and whenever they want it.”