“I don’t think that there is any denying that the future of how people are going to consume their content on what we used to call television is through streamers,” WarnerMedia’s Sandra Dewey says as her company’s HBO Max prepares to launch in May 2020.
Just hours before the much anticipated and heavily promoted launch of Disney+, the statement from the president of Business Operations and Production at the AT&T-owned entity seems self-evident until you consider how to actually get to that future. “That is going to be a progression over time, but that is what the future is, so we better get in there and figure it out,” the forthright Dewey admitted at the recent Lionsgate-sponsored Streamermania 2020 panel from the Banff Media Festival.
Following the opening salvos from the AppleTV+ debut on November 1, the premiere of Disney+ tomorrow could be a true game-changer in an industry almost senselessly addicted to the term – just ask Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. Kicking off with its new Star Wars series The Mandalorian, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series and most of its Magic Kingdom history plus offerings from the Pixar, Star Wars, Nat GEO and Marvel catalog (and bringing original series like Loki and more soon0, Disney+ aims to have between 60 million-90 million subscribers in the next five years.
Joined onstage last week by BET+ general manager Devin Griffin and Fremantle North America’s president of Scripted Programming Dante Di Lorento, Dewey and I discussed the journey, the intended destination, metamorphous, and trend lines of the streaming wars that have already begun. Beyond the confines of the continent, we also probe how the doors may have already been blown off, where this digital dust-up could end up, and who wants the next Game of Thrones.
Take a look, and place your bets.
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