WarnerMedia’s prepping its own video streaming service for 2019

WarnerMedia, which includes HBO, Turner, and Warner Bros., plans to offer a new video streaming service. The unnamed direct to consumer product will compete with services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and others, and launch in the fourth quarter of 2019, says WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey.

Formerly Time Warner, Inc. WarnerMedia was acquired earlier this year by AT&T. The company, which is headquartered in New York City, includes film, television, cable networks, and publishing operations.

In an internal memo, which was first noted by CNN, Stankey says the new service will build on the success of HBO Now, noting:

Our service will start with HBO and the genre-defining programming that viewers crave. On top of that we will package content from Turner and Warner Bros. with their deep brand connections that touch both diverse interests and mass audiences.

In a subsequent public release, Stankey explained:

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 loved by consumers around the world.

WarnerMedia isn’t the only company planning on offering a new direct to consumer video service in the coming year. Disney plans to begin offering something similar in 2019. There’s also a chance Apple too will announce some sort of video streaming package. As you might recall, it’s currently developing $1 billion worth of original content.

For years, consumers complained about the high cost of satellite and cable subscriptions. Eventually, this led to the rise of direct to consumer services like Netflix, and over the top (OTT) products like DirecTV Now and Youtube TV. With so much content (available through separate monthly bills), it makes you wonder where everything is headed and whether all the services currently available will survive. 

Already, for example, there are growing calls for PlayStation to shut down its Vue OTT product, which has just 500,000 monthly subscribers compared to Sling TV’s 2.2 million and DirecTV Now’s 1.8 million. Meanwhile, an October survey from Sandvine says that video piracy is growing thanks to the rise of original “exclusive” content.