It looks like WarnerMedia is flourishing under the guidance of Jason Kilar even in these trying times!
When Jason Kilar, the CEO of WarnerMedia, took charge of the company amid the pandemic in May 2020, nobody thought he would be able to make a difference. But as they say, actions speak louder than words. Similarly, Kilar's bold decisions and smart moves helped the company achieve its goals.
Here's a quick look at some of his choices and how they brought WarnerMedia back on track.
Jason Kilar's tactical approach
Kilar's first move after becoming CEO was reshuffling the AT&T Inc. division and enhancing the new HBO Max streaming service. Although this move led to numerous job cuts, it was a stepping stone for a better tomorrow.
One of Kilar’s most shocking declarations was changing the mode of movie releases. At the end of 2020, he announced that all Warner Bros. movies would have a hybrid release. That is, they will hit the theaters and HBO Max at the same time. This announcement disappointed a lot of theater owners. It enraged many Hollywood personalities who felt that the decision could drive away audiences from the big screen, which were already not performing well due to the pandemic.
But in reality, the opposite happened. Warner Bros. movies became the hottest trend in theaters. They helped revitalize the big screens, and films like Godzilla vs. Kong and Mortal Kombat showed that nothing could beat the theater experience.
WarnerMedia further tested its plan with Wonder Woman 1984, which was released on both HBO Max and theaters, and saw a good response from audiences on both platforms. A little later, Tenet was released only in theaters, and though the movie had the capability of attracting viewers, it struggled badly.
But will the hybrid approach work in the future?
It would be tough to estimate since putting the exact number of subscribers for HBO Max in black and white is challenging. But if we were to look at analyst reports, there’s definitely a surge which is quite a promising trend.
According to reports, in 2020 alone, AT&T welcomed 2.7 million HBO subscribers (combined number of HBO cable network and HBO Max users), and they are planning to expand that value to 67 to 70 million. To achieve this goal, the company will likely launch a cheaper, ad-supported version of HBO Max in June 2021. Reports suggest that the original version would cost $15 per month, whereas the less expensive version would charge $10 per month. If you ask us, we think the future looks bright for the hybrid approach!
A pat on the back
Boxoffice Pro's Chief Analyst, Shawn Robbins, gave Kilar much appreciation for his bold moves and the ability to see ten steps ahead. He applauded Warner Bros. for helping theaters bounce back and said that the company had given a new life to the cinematic industry. He even admired the CEO’s courage for taking the risk of releasing movies both on streaming platforms and in the theaters. Well, guess all’s well that ends well!