HBOMax Explained and Streaming Service 2022 Year End Review!

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
I don't binge myself, I find I enjoy it more if I watch maybe two episodes a day, but streaming has changed my viewing habits. I no longer want 20+ episodes a season. I'd much prefer smaller seasons with the plot moving along at a decent pace with little if any filler. I'm watching season 10 of The Walking Dead right now, let's ignore that the show got a little stale after the first few seasons, and after about twelve episodes I just keeping thinking, "Get on with it! Just wrap it up already."
walking dead twd GIF
 

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payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
As someone who was not familiar with the books, but loved the series, I gotta say this-

Those opening sequences in season 5? The ones that I kept waiting to make sense?\

Nope. They did not make sense in terms of the TV series. People try to tell me, "But it's in the book," and I reply ... I DON'T WATCH TV FOR FANCY BOOK LEARNIN'. Seriously ... what the heck was that? (Not looking for an answer, just pointing out that it was crazy-stupid to have it)
...and now you will never know. Thanks Amazon.
 

pukunui

Legend
Honestly, I am at that point. I waited until this week to binge on White Lotus. And I will usually wait until a given Disney MCU/Star Wars show is almost over until I start it.

I prefer to watch shows in chunks. Probably because I have the retention and attention span of a small, easily distracted rodent. Look, cheese!
I do a bit of both. I'll watch the Star Wars and MCU shows on Disney+ as they come out week-to-week, but I'll binge the stuff that's available to binge. After Andor finished, I binged all four seasons of What We Do in the Shadows, and I've just finished bingeing Wednesday, Dragon Age: Absolution, and SAS: Rogue Heroes.
 

GreyLord

Legend
That's cute.

Disney is currently worth $172.57 billion. Of that capitalization, the profitable theme parks (which would have to be spun off and currently make billions every quarter) make up a sizeable chunk. Disney+, on the other hand, went from a $630 million loss to a $1.5 billion loss in the past year.

Apple is a company worth over $2.3 trillion (not a typo) dollars with enough cash and investments to technically buy all of Disney outright- without stock or financing.

They probably won't, for lots of reasons ... but let's not fool ourselves about what Disney will demand. There's a reason for the rumors ... but the likelihood of a deal not going through has nothing to do with Disney, and is instead because Apple is a company that has had a lot of opportunity to purchase large companies and has chosen to remain focused.

There is a difference between worth and the Capital they have on hand that they can actually use.

A more basic understanding could be to look at the middle Class homeowner. Many Homeowners may have a total worth of 500K. However, this is mostly because the house and property they own is worth 500K. The actual money they have to spend is month to month in many instances. They may actually only have enough to live to the next paycheck. The actual MONEY they have is almost nothing.

Now they COULD take out a loan (remortgage) their house to leverage more money, but of course, that is basically selling your house back to the bank and then you have to buy it back slowly over the years again. Miss your payments enough times...lose the house.

What this means is that what you are worth does not necessarily equal capital on hand.
 

GreyLord

Legend
Because the deal saddled WBDisco with $53 billion in debt.

That's right- the net leverage of WB is over 5x (Disney's, for comparison, is at 2x-2.2x). So HBOMax is in a weird position- it isn't a subsidized service (AppleTV+, Prime, Peacock, even Disney+) that can just funnel money into streaming in the hope of future profits. And it's not an established, powerful, and profitable player like Netflix.

And it has a massive debt that it has to service in a time with uncertain, and high, interest rates.

So now look at all their decisions-
Batgirl? Save money.
Removing big shows from the platform? Save money.
Going in a new direction in the DC Movie universe (and not paying established stars)? Save money.
Getting rid of high-concept and expensive shows in favor of more Dr. Primple Popper? Save money.


In other words, it is a company with a crippling debt burden looking for a way out. Maybe that will be a sale, or maybe that will be a continued pivot to a lesser version of what it once was. But when looking at any decision made by HBOMax (or the parent studio), don't think of it in terms of creative decision-making, or the fans, or even the future of the company ... just remember ... 53 billion in debt needs to be serviced.

Yes, I'm not a big fan of some of their moves recently, and I'm not sure how they plan on actually getting out of debt or what their plan is to do so.

You can save money, but you have to actually MAKE money to pay off the debt. I can see how they are saving money, but I'm not seeing a solid plan that will actually MAKE money thus far.

All I see is a bunch of bad PR as they upset their existing fans and viewers. That's not the key to making money. You want to retain your current audience and then BUILD upon that making an even BIGGER audience.

I just don't see how they are going around doing that yet.

To put it in a D&D sense. Yes, D&D rules have always made money, but for a while consecutively (from my viewpoint) lost customers. From AD&D to 2e they upset some players. This dwindled an audience of 20 to 25 million down to 1 million or less...BUT then 3e came around. It still didn't get the numbers back. It upset a LOT of people (no one seems to remember the edition wars back then, but they were FAR worse than the 3e to 4e...and I'm still bitter). They only got around 5 million players (loss of 15 - 20 million, sure you can blame late TSR, but 3e didn't do much to gain back the audience and probably upset half of those players who never really came back). 4e once again didn't care about building on the former audiences and lost even more players. They upset around half of their base again (though part of it was the sting of 3.5 and then changing the game up so quickly after that debacle] now down to 2-3 million players.

5e took a different approach. IT sought reconciliation with ALL generations of players. It sought to at least verbally APPEAL to ALL generations of players. It sought to bring the old audiences back. Once that base was established it then built up the game from there to bring in NEW players. Result...we are back to something between 15 to 25 million players again.

[So...comparison...which do you think is the better approach...2-3 million customers, or 15-25 million customers? It seems pretty obvious to me. If they keep up the approach who knows how many they can finally get in their fanbase?]

Appealing and building on your old fans works...upsetting them seems to only reduce your audience size...and I don't think that's ever a good thing.
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
There is a difference between worth and the Capital they have on hand that they can actually use.

(Snip).

“Apple is a company worth over $2.3 trillion (not a typo) dollars with enough cash and investments to technically buy all of Disney outright- without stock or financing.”

:)
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
“Apple is a company worth over $2.3 trillion (not a typo) dollars with enough cash and investments to technically buy all of Disney outright- without stock or financing.”

:)

I thought they had even more they could work with (so odd to Google). Now I need to decide if I want to track down the difference between working capital and cash.

Screenshot_20221213-172724~2.png
 
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GreyLord

Legend
“Apple is a company worth over $2.3 trillion (not a typo) dollars with enough cash and investments to technically buy all of Disney outright- without stock or financing.”

:)

Technically, if they leverage everything that they can drop...which no one sane would do.

Their actual capital they can use is hardly anything close to that from what I understand.
 

Staffan

Legend
As someone who was not familiar with the books, but loved the series, I gotta say this-

Those opening sequences in season 5? The ones that I kept waiting to make sense?\

Nope. They did not make sense in terms of the TV series. People try to tell me, "But it's in the book," and I reply ... I DON'T WATCH TV FOR FANCY BOOK LEARNIN'. Seriously ... what the heck was that? (Not looking for an answer, just pointing out that it was crazy-stupid to have it)
Yeah, given that they weren't doing seasons/book 7-9, those are a waste of time.

The opening sequences are from a novella named Strange Dogs. They both give a bit of insight into life on Laconia, and explain what happened to Cara and Xan, who play kind of an important role in the later books. It also establishes that this is a kind of thing that can happen, before it happens to someone else in the main storyline.

So it's basically setup for stuff that won't happen in the TV series.

It also didn't help season 6 that the guy playing Alex Kamal had made himself persona non grata due to questionable interaction with fans. I mean, I'm perfectly OK with firing the guy, but it did seriously mess with the crew's personal dynamics.
 

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