WarnerMedia’s forthcoming streaming service could end up costing as much as $17 a month, making it more expensive than other streaming competitors, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ, citing people familiar with the matter, reports that AT&T is eyeing a $16 to $17 monthly price point for the service, which would include HBO and Cinemax. WarnerMedia would drop its initial plan of a three-tiered service, and instead, roll up the two pay-cable channels with Warner Bros.’ library of film and TV shows.
Representatives for AT&T and WarnerMedia did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
The service is expected to roll out a beta version at the end of this year, with a full launch in 2020, which the WSJ says could come as early as March. WarnerMedia could also roll out a cheaper, ad-supported version later in 2020, according to the WSJ, with a premium option for live events and sports coming further down the road. The WSJ adds that pricing and content for the service are still fluid and it remains to be seen what role the DC Comics-branded DC Universe will have within the larger WarnerMedia offering.
WarnerMedia’s high price point is due to the desire to include HBO in its offering, which already has its own standalone service (HBO Go) that costs $15 a month, the same as its pay-TV subscription price. Cinemax can cost as much as $12 a month. Due to its existing deals with pay-TV distributors, HBO’s price is locked in and WarnerMedia would risk violating contracts if it charged a lesser price for an over-the-top (OTT) subscription.
Netflix’s subscriptions go between $9-$16 a month, while Hulu offers plans that start at $6 a month. Disney+, which will be available on Nov. 12, is starting at $7 a month.
Read the full story in the Wall Street Journal here.
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