HBO Max AVOD Plans Stay Below Wraps, However Children & Household Upfront Splash Factors The Means – .

With the planned launch of an ad-supported HBO Max tier running out in the second quarter, key details like pricing, viewer experience, and ad programming remain ongoing. Even so, it’s becoming increasingly clear that children’s and family programming is likely a key element in the streaming service’s pitch for advertisers.

WarnerMedia turned the clock up today, announcing dozens of new shows on HBO Max and linear networks, as well as a new focus on Cartoon Network as a core kids and family brand. The network has also adopted a new self-empowerment motto that could serve as the slogan for the entire company: “Redraw your world.”

JP Colaco, who worked closely with WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, in Hulu and then at video start-up Vessel, joined WarnerMedia last fall as Head of Advertising Sales. In an interview with ., he declined to provide details on the AVOD offer. But he said there was a reason to make a splash ahead of the company’s main upfront pitch in May, which is likely to be fully revealed.

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“What I see is that this new initiative that we proposed, reaching preschool in the morning, girls and boys in the afternoon, and families in the evening, creates a really holistic approach to marketers and their ability to lead life. Cycle marketing in our network, ”he said. “We create unique experiences. We will see existing marketers grow because of the quality of the content and IP experience and the audiences they can reach with it. And we’ll see new advertisers interested in engaging with the whole family in compelling ways. “

Colaco says marketing initiatives around the back-of-school season and Halloween will provide options for advertisers as plans for kids and families – including 300 new lessons for kids and 1,000 for preschoolers – are released this fall.

Tom Ascheim, who led Nickelodeon’s dominance in the kids industry prior to his junior senior executive at Disney, joined WarnerMedia last year as President of Warner Bros. Global Kids, Young Adults and Classics. Speaking to Colaco, he said that WarnerMedia’s digital reach is twice that of Nickelodeon’s, giving 1 billion people around the world access through social and digital platforms.

The cross-platform nature of corporate assets, Ascheim says, sets them apart in the increasingly competitive arena for children and families where tech giants battle media companies like Disney, WarnerMedia, ViacomCBS, and others. WarnerMedia will continue to highlight a mix of its linear networks, reaching 440 million people worldwide, and subscription VoD, which launched in 2021 with 41.5 million subscribers via linear HBO and HBO Max.

“We have the history, the unity and the modern approach to be able to compete with all other children and family players in the world,” said Ascheim during the online pre-presentation. “And wherever we are, unlike most of our competitors, we want you to be with us every step of the way – linear, streaming and all parts of the digital ecosystem.”

Ascheim told . that the company was “considering how we’re going to speak to the audience.” He acknowledged that HBO Max “started a little slower than we wanted” last May. Many users criticized what they thought was confusing consumer news about access to the service, which is free for existing HBO subscribers but $ 15 per month for new ones. By late 2020, in another source of frustration, HBO Max wasn’t available through Roku or Amazon Fire TV, which together control nearly three-quarters of the U.S. streaming market.

Things have improved since that early friction, Ascheim said. Warner Bros’ strategy of getting the day and date 2021 in theaters and on HBO Max “will prove to be a smart way to play the game,” he said. “We’ll be driving this all year round.” Upcoming releases Tom & Jerry and Space Jam 2 are two major titles for all ages that will allow cross-fertilization between the kids programming push and HBO Max’s scaling efforts. Teen Titans Go, a major Cartoon Network franchise moving to HBO Max soon after a run on Hulu, will be hosting a “watch party” in the mystery science theater style of the original Space Jam film in a synergistic effort.

Streaming “is a great house for our content,” said Ascheim. “HBO means so many incredible things in the universe. It’s a quality moniker that is second to none on TV. But it doesn’t mean children. I think part of our job is to round off this brand presence. “Despite the strength of DC, Cartoon Network, Looney Tunes, Hanna-Barbera, and other brands, Ascheim continued,” We’ve never put it all together. “

Live-action programming is also coming to Cartoon Network this fall, with major franchises like Harry Potter and Wonder Woman changing the animated mix. Ascheim said that there is proof of concept in other countries where the audience tends to use a mix of live action and animation. Girls as young as seven, he added, show an interest in seeing live-action dishes.

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