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TV across the board has been creating more and more original content for users to consume, and chief among these over the last couple of years has been Netflix, which started out with only a handful of originals but now boasts tons. While Netflix has borrowed a lot of money to keep producing originals, it seems as if it will have some hefty competition moving forward. That’s because content provider HBO has just announced some big plans, as well. During a recent earnings call, HBO CEO Richard Plepler and Time Warner’s Jeff Bewkes revealed that HBO wants to increase its current rate of production by 50%. The subscription cable and streaming network also wants to start making itself available in more countries internationally.
The conference call didn’t seemingly elaborate on how HBO is going to make this happen, but ramping up production is pretty easy to understand, provided HBO has the funds to launch 50% more programming in the coming year. HBO is also available in other countries, but expanding further internationally could also help HBO to become a more major player on the worldwide stage, and even help fans who have wanted to watch big HBO programs in other countries that don’t have access to the network’s shows. Business Insider is also noting that the company has put together a “two-step plan” to create content that might be more niche in the United States but could blow up big elsewhere.
The international rollout aspect might be a little more difficult for HBO than it was for Netflix. Netflix has spent a lot of time and effort rolling out the subscription streaming service in other countries and has deals to be in 190 nations and supporting 17 different languages so far. In terms of HBO, HBO Canada, HBO Europe, HBO India and many other countries do have access to shows like Game of Thrones and even Girls, but working out deals with content providers or even rolling out more HBO Now service could be difficult to tackle. However, creating more programs that could be top notch content in multiple countries would mean that HBO could spend less money per subscriber.
While a lot of cable and network TV channels have worked out deals with streaming services like Hulu or Amazon Prime, HBO has actually been pretty far ahead of the game. Last year, the service spent a lot of money introducing its own streaming service HBO Now. The subscriber numbers aren’t as great as they could be at this point, theoretically, rolling out the service in a number of new countries should help HBO to continue to grow, as well.
HBO has always pretty much been in direct competition with Netflix, but the timing for this HBO announcement is really interesting. A couple of months ago, Netflix announced that it would be producing double the content in the coming year. Now, if HBO could just go ahead and release Westworld, I think the company would be off to a pretty great start.