Warner Media confirmed on Wednesday that HBO Max will launch in Europe on October 26. The first six launch markets are going to be Andorra, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. 14 more European countries will receive the streaming service in 2022, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Slovenia. More details on pricing and content offering will be announced in a virtual launch event in October.
The streaming service will include content from Warmer Bros. HBO, DC, Max Originals, and Cartoon Networks. HBO Max’s European arm is focusing on television shows and plans to broaden the scope of its content beyond programming typically offered in the U.S. Christina Sulebakk, general manager for HBO Max EMEA, explains that the brand is trying to create an unique identity in the highly competitive market, where Netflix and Amazon Prime Video are increasingly dominant rivals.
“Our brand with HBO Max is much broader than our legacy HBO brand. It’s much more energetic and diverse in terms of content and scope. There’s a lot of love in the brand, and energy and inclusion and playfulness.”Christina Sulebakk, general manager for HBO Max EMEA
While HBO Max announced plans to continue launching in European countries outside of the 20 countries listed above, streaming fans in Germany and the U.K. have to wait a little longer. Because of existing deals with other companies in these countries, HBO Max wouldn’t be lucrative at this time. Sulebakk stated: “We are evaluating market by market in terms of commercial strength in programming, [and whether] it’s the right portfolio that we can bring to market — not only the HBO slate but WarnerMedia in general.”
For me, as a European, that is very interesting because so far HBO Max hasn’t played a role in streaming in Europe. I am curious how this will change streaming habits and if HBO Max will be able to compete with Netflix and Amazon as they are already well established. I think in the first months it is most important for HBO Max to have a unique and outstanding advertisement strategy to draw attention to their streaming service.