HBO is set to lose five million users after WarnerMedia strips the steaming service from Amazon’s Prime Video channels today
- The departure from Amazon’s Channels service is an effort to cultivate a direct relationship with customers through HBO’s standalone app
- The HBO channel cost s $15 on top of the Prime Video subscription, and subscribers will receive a pro-rated refund based off of previous billing
- The departure is part of an effort by WarnerMedia to cultivate a direct relationship with customers through its standalone HBO Max app
- Up until this point, HBO has enjoyed 67.5million subscribers worldwide between both Amazon Channel and HBO Max subscriptions
- Max Chief Andy Forssell said the short-term lost was worth it to be better able to tailor its user interface and content offerings to viewer habits
With the departure of HBO content from Amazon’s Channel’s service Wednesday, HBO Max Chief Andy Forssell (pictured) said he was willing to lose subscribers in the short term in an effort to cultivate a direct relationship with customers
HBO is set to lose five million customers after WarnerMedia strips its content from Amazon Prime Video’s Channels feature Wednesday.
People who have subscribed to the channel for $15 on top of their Prime Video subscription will receive a pro-rated refund based off of their previous billing cycle, according to messages Amazon sent to subscribers earlier this month.
The move is a bid by WarnerMedia to have customers engage directly with the company through its HBOMax streaming platform instead of through Amazon, and the company is expected to offer a special discount for its former Amazon Channels subscribers, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The departure was part of a deal struck in November last year between Amazon and WarnerMedia to allow WarnerMedia’s HBO Max standalone app onto Amazon’s FireTV devices, and temporarily give access for Channel subscribers to Max for no additional charge.
Up until this point, HBO has enjoyed 67.5million subscribers worldwide between both Amazon Channel and HBO Max subscriptions, but HBO Max Chief Andy Forssell said he is willing to sacrifice some of those if it means engaging directly with customers and cutting out the middleman.
HBO is set to lose 5million subscribers with its departure from Amazon Prime Video’s Channels service. Between channels and its standalone HBO Max app, it had enjoyed 67.5million subscribers between the two services
‘It’s important for us to own the customer,’ Forssell told Bloomberg last month.
‘If the viewer is in the app, we can tailor the home page to them. We can tailor what they show them next. We can respond to that in real time.’
Previously, WarnerMedia’s streaming offerings came through services HBO Go and HBO Now, and on Amazon’s FireTV devices were treated as channels through Prime video’s al la carte subscription service.
With the sunsetting of HBO Go upon the the launch of HBO Max in May, 2020, and HBO Now rolled into the service, WarnerMedia is seeking to streamline its branding and offer an avenue to provide shows not exclusively on HBO such as The Big Bang Theory and South Park, and original content such as Titans and Gossip Girl.
Forssell said the decision to endure a short-term loss in subscribers was driven by the desire to tailor the user interface of its streaming platform to viewing habits and have direct control over billing.
The collection of information such as when viewers stop watching a particular episode, or what kinds of shows they prefer to watch, the company could develop new ways to tease shows, or compel viewers to keep watching.
HBO Max is being built as a means to offer exclusive streaming content such as Titans and Gossip Girl
Under the channels deal, however, such data collection or user interface tailoring was not possible.
It is part of a larger push to make streaming a top priority for media giants. CBSViacom on Monday, for example, ousted James Gianopulos as chief executive of Paramount Pictures in favor of Brian Robbins, who runs the company’s children’s division.
It was widely seen as a response to his resistance to prioritizing Viacom’s Paramount+ streaming platform over the company’s movie business, the New York Times reported.
Forssell says even despite the loss of Amazon subscribers, he still expects the company to hit its end-of-year target of more than 70million subscribers, Bloomberg reported.