The Doom patrol series is getting a second season. But wait there’s more. The DC Universe based show will also be available on HBO Max. This should be a surprise to nobody who has been paying attention. As we have noted many times that the AT&T portfolio of services is far too big. The DC Universe we conceived before the major merger between Warner and AT&T and the lack of buzz around the service makes it feel like Warner Media is trying to find a way out of it. Putting its new shows on HBO Max would certainly open a door to shuttering the service. You can almost hear the post DC Universe shutdown interviews now.
“We found that more people were watching DC Universe shows on HBO Max than DCU and felt it would be better to concentrate on the bigger product instead of support two separate streaming services that essentially competed with each other.”
This is not to say that nothing is happening on the DC Universe side. The Titans series will be on the way back, new animated movies have been announced and Young Justice will continue its revival. But this belies a theme of the DC Universe in general. The service has far more animated features than live action and it’s not even close. The service is the go-to spot for fans of the DC animated movies, which have been far more loyal to the companies cannon than any of the live action movies have been. Some might even argue that they are more popular. Could DC Universe be re-branded as a digital comic book and animation hub, while the edgy live action material migrates to HBO Max? I think so.
If DC Universe is going to carry on it should define itself less as a hybrid service featuring Classic/old movies and TV Shows, Animated TV Shows, Animated Movies and new originals and instead go with its strengths. Digital comics and A huge library of animated fare. HBO Max is going to need something to make it stand out besides old Turner properties and being a hub for new DC TV shows along with top content from HBO would help differentiate it from HBO Now, if Warner actually keeps HBO Now going as well.
At the Streaming Advisor in general we think that Warner Media will be doing a lot more pruning of services in the next year. It makes very little sense for one company to offer two traditional pay TV services in U-Verse and DirecTV, two stand alone HBO branded products HBO Now and HBO Max, A DC property that shares shows with HBO Max as well as traditional HBO as a cable channel with a separate HBO Go app that requires a TV login. There is just too much redundancy.
We will have more on this topic upcoming.