HBO must 'change direction' to flourish, says its new boss

Jeffrey Wright and Shannon Woodward on the second season of HBO's'Westworld

Jeffrey Wright and Shannon Woodward on the second season of HBO's'Westworld

AT&T executive John Stankey, who following the company's $85 billion takeover of Time Warner last month became chief executive of Warner Media, spoke about these changes in a June 19 town hall meeting at HBO's Manhattan headquarters among 150 employees, The New York Times reported Sunday. "We need hours a day", Stankey said of how often viewers should be watching HBO. "Why are more hours of engagement important?", Stankey explained. Stankey revealed that keeping users glued to the screen for longer would allow HBO to peddle new subscriptions and alternative advertising models.

"As I step back and think about what's unique about the brand and where it needs to go, there's got to be a little more depth to it, there's got to be more frequent engagement", Mr. Stankey said. Instead of showing full-length episodes on all devices, it might be best to "curate the content uniquely for a mobile environment".

"We do that", Mr. Plepler responded, to scattered applause.

"Yes, you do", Stankey reportedly said.

HBO's response used to be "more is not better, only better is better" - which Plepler said when asked about Netflix's strategy a year ago.

HBO has made almost $6 billion in profit over the past three years, while devoting more than $2 billion a year to programming, the article said.

Colaboradores de DT argentino rescinden vínculo con AFA — Fútbol
Tras las diferentes versiones sobre el cese de Jorge Sampaol i en su cargo de técnico de la selección argentina , la AFA se pronunció al respecto y aclaró que el DT se queda en funciones.

Plepler said that HBO's current strategy "is not going to be sustainable going forward".

During the meeting, Stankey and HBO boss Richard Plepler talked about the former's desire to produce more shows, even if it leads to poorer-quality content overall. "I've switched that, now that you're here, to: 'More isn't better, only better is better - but we need a lot more to be even better.'" As Stankey told the audience at one point, "We've got to make money at the end of the day, right?", to which Plepler replied, "We do that".

The most salient question is whether HBO can continue its "excellence" with an increased output of shows, especially ones that are expected to attract a "broad" audience.

"You've earned the dynamic amongst your customer base that when you put a new piece of content out there, people will try it, just because they trust you're going to be putting something in front of them that they might like", Stankey said.

Under its new corporate owner AT&T, the premium pay-TV service may be viewed more as a vessel for data collection than for its high-quality dramas. "You will work very hard, and this next year will - my wife hates it when I say this - feel like childbirth..."

It's not Netflix, it's HBO, but HBO, it seems, is about to start looking a lot like Netflix. But, he added, "it's not going to feel great while you're in the middle of it".

Noticias recomendadas

Nos complace brindar esta oportunidad para compartir información, experiencias y observaciones sobre lo que está en las noticias.
Algunos de los comentarios se pueden reimprimir en otras partes del sitio o en el periódico.
Gracias por tomarse el tiempo para ofrecer sus pensamientos.