Max Is Getting Maxed Out

Warner Brothers Discovery (WBD) is a very different company than it was before the merger. The new leadership has brought a much more old-school approach to the management of its intellectual property that harkens back to the era before every media company wanted to be Netflix. To be fair, we have not been in that era long to begin with, but only two years ago HBO Max was like a clone of Netflix and Disney+ with all of its WB properties pulled under one roof, exclusive access to DC content and HBO originals. The company had near-exclusive rights to its properties meaning if you wanted to follow the DCU, then you had to have HBO Max. If you wanted to catch Dune, you had to have Max, etc. That has changed in a big way.

Check Netflix there are multiple DC properties on the service now. Black Adam has a temporary home on Amazon Prime, HBO original, Ballers is on Netflix. The company has totally shifted from the walled garden approach that seemingly every major media company adopted and become a distributor again. And it is probably the right move. Sony figured it out first among the major studios. The company, instead of launching some exclusive service for its content instead started signing new distribution deals for its big winners at the box office bringing the new Spider-Man movies and the associated Sony Marvel movies to partners, which meant that it made money off the existence of the properties instead of by enticing customers to sign up for an exclusive service.

Now Max is making a move that mirrors Paramount+ and Peacock. Its move to offer live news from CNN International and offer live sports through Bleacher Report is an indicator that MAX is about to become a corporate lighthouse offering instead of a premium movie and TV service. Sure there are still going to be exclusive shows on MAX, but with live news and sports like the NHL, NBA and MLB the service is getting a lot more generalized. And that does not even address its move to add abundant content from its Discovery Network properties.

If MAX can manage to keep costs relatively low its game on for WBD