TV Answer Man, I have an HBO Max sub and it seems like they are adding fewer and fewer new titles every month. I see your articles with the new stuff coming every month and it just gets smaller. Am I seeing things or is this the case and why? Makes me wonder if I should drop it. — Cheryl, Akron, Ohio.
Cheryl, since the Warner Bros Discovery merger last year, new company CEO David Zaslav has made cost-cutting a top priority. The executive has trimmed staff, cancelled shows and even pulled the plug on movies that were produced but never released. The moves are designed to make Warner Bros. Discovery more profitable and eliminate what Zaslav sees as excessive spending by past management.
Meanwhile, HBO Max’s monthly price has increased as has Zaslav’s potential salary and bonuses.
Zaslav’s policies have clearly also led to fewer titles being added each month to HBO Max. (Fewer new titles means fewer licensing fees paid by Warner Bros. Discovery.) The TV Answer Man has done an analysis of the first three months of 2023 and found that HBO Max has added 47.2 percent fewer titles compared to the same time period in 2022.
Here are the numbers:
January 2022 — 316 new titles
January 2023 — 121 new titles
February 2022 — 121 new titles
February 2023 — 108 new titles
March 2022 — 76 new titles
March 2023 — 42 new titles
That means that HBO Max added 513 new titles in the first three months of 2022 compared to only 271 new titles in the first three months of 2023. So, Cheryl, your eyes are not deceiving you. The numbers don’t lie.
The question now is whether more HBO Max viewers will notice the diminishing returns and question the validity of their subscriptions.
Zaslav and his team would likely say that less can be more as the company continues to pump out high-quality fare such as The Last of Us and Succession.
Cheryl, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann