×

WarnerMedia Streaming Service Will Launch Domestically First

The streaming service WarnerMedia plans to introduce next year will launch domestically first, followed by a potential international rollout, and could feature content from outside providers, according to a company insider.

WarnerMedia is hoping that its direct-to-consumer offering will enable it to become a major player in a space currently dominated by Netflix. Unveiling those plans last month, CEO John Stankey said the platform would be in place by the end of 2019. That would pit the company against not just Netflix, Amazon and other existing OTT services but also Disney, which intends to debut its own streaming service, Disney+, late next year.

To compete, WarnerMedia appears to be taking a more expansive view in terms of sourcing its content. The insider said that WarnerMedia would be open to licensing shows and movies from outside the company stable, which currently includes brands such as Warner Bros. and HBO. The goal is for the new streaming service to be a “scaled distribution platform” open to other providers. Speculation has already surfaced of talks between WarnerMedia and Comcast’s NBCUniversal to form some sort of content alliance, but neither company has commented publicly on the possibility.

In terms of in-house WarnerMedia content, only HBO programming has been locked in. Which other brands and kinds of content to include is still under discussion, though one logical candidate would be the catalogue of classic, foreign and independent movies formerly available on FilmStruck, WarnerMedia’s streaming service catering to cinephiles. In one of its first and most controversial moves since Time Warner was sold to AT&T, WarnerMedia decided to shut down FilmStruck by the end of this month.

Popular on Variety

Subscription plans and prices for the upcoming WarnerMedia streaming service have not been set yet, but the company has said that a subscription would cost more than HBO’s current OTT subscription offering.

“We are committed to launching a compelling and competitive product that will serve as a complement to our existing businesses and help us to expand our reach by offering a new choice for entertainment with the WarnerMedia collection of films, television series, libraries, documentaries and animation,” Stankey said in a statement before last month’s Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit.

More Film

  • Pamela Tola

    Göteborg: Pamela Tola Proves There is an Audience for Different Stories

    GÖTEBORG, Sweden —  Chosen to close the discussion dedicated to discrimination against elderly people at the Göteborg Film Festival, Pamela Tola’s “Ladies of Steel” fitted right into this year’s focus on feminism and gender at the Swedish event. Which managed to deliver on its 50/50 promise, with 54% of the presented films being directed by [...]

  • Shirley Chen and Jose Angeles appear

    'Beast Beast': Film Review

    Writer-director Danny Madden’s “Beast Beast” clatters to life with organic percussion: a stick rat-a-tatting against an iron fence, a skateboard scraping on concrete, a rifle pinging bullets against a defenseless tin plate. Together, these sounds combine into jazz, despite the discordance of the three teens making such a ruckus. Krista (Shirley Chen), the stick thwacker, [...]

  • Sundance: PBS POV Acquires Kenyan Doc

    Sundance: PBS POV Acquires Kenyan Doc ‘Softie’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    PBS’s documentary arm POV has snapped up U.S. broadcast rights for Kenyan director Sam Soko’s “Softie,” fresh off its world premiere in the World Documentary Cinema competition at Sundance, Variety has learned. The film, which is the first Kenyan-produced movie to premiere at the festival, will air as part of the series’ 33rd season, which kicks [...]

  • Will Smith as Mike Lowrey in

    Box Office: 'Bad Boys for Life' Rules Over 'The Gentlemen'

    STX’s “The Gentlemen” proved no match for Sony’s “Bad Boys for Life,” which again left box office competitors in the dust after collecting $34 million in its sophomore outing. Those ticket sales, pushing the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence-led sequel past the $100 million mark, were easily enough to claim the No. 1 spot for [...]

  • Kajillionaire

    'Kajillionaire': Film Review

    The world is a weird place. Miranda July knows that, but the rest of us sometimes forget. Or maybe we just don’t want to admit how bizarre it is that society more or less agrees that back rubs and hot tubs and flavored chips and McRibs are an appropriate reward for a bazillion years of [...]

  • Stellan Skarsgard

    Göteborg Listens to Stellan according to Skarsgård

    GÖTEBORG, Sweden — Laughs were aplenty at the Stora Theatern, where Göteborg Film Festival artistic director Jonas Holmberg welcomed the recipient of the Nordic Honorary Dragon Award, fresh off his Golden Globe win for HBO’s “Chernobyl”. “It wasn’t planned. I thought that will be my only award this year, that’s why I said yes!” – joked Skarsgård, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content