Disappearing HBO Max Content Could Be the Beginning of Big Changes

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Thanks to complex rights agreements and an endless influx of new content, changes are permanent for almost every streaming service. That’s why we dedicate entire columns to what’s going on and off the major platforms, but some recent changes to the HBO Max lineup are making fans wonder if bigger changes are coming. It looks like they’re probably right, although what exactly that means is very unclear.

The online chatter started when some users started noticing that some animated content from Cartoon Network was disappearing from the service, including Final Space. Later, other users discovered that some TNT and TBS shows had also disappeared, including Chad and Through the Snow. This seemed strange to users, given that these programs are broadcast on Warner Bros/HBO Max’s own networks, and many turned to social networks to ask what happened. HBO Max responded, but in general terms, on social media, which was highlighted by Pop Cultureā€¦

Thank you for your interest in HBO Max content. Working on combining HBO Max and Discovery+, we are making some changes to our services. Part of this process involves deleting the selected content. Thanks. ^SL

What exactly happens to any of the aforementioned missing shows is unclear. There are many reasons why random content disappears from the service, and there is not always a bigger goal behind it. The fact that TNT has the rights to broadcast a certain show on television does not necessarily mean that they have the rights to permanently include it in the streaming service of the parent company.

At the same time, there is clearly a lot of smoke here, and this smoke has only become thicker and more noticeable since Vulture published an extensive article about HBO Max’s long-term plans at the end of last month. Sources told the publication that the company’s employees expect big changes for the platform as it merges with Discovery. It is reported that everything from changing the name to completely changing the distribution model in cinemas is on the table.

The publication claims that David Zaslav, executive director of the new combined streaming service, believes very much in the theatrical showcase. We’ve already seen how one DC movie that was scheduled to be sent straight to streaming was canceled, and there’s reportedly a new directive that any movie intended for live streaming must have a budget of less than $35 million, and even they can hit theaters for $45. days before the appearance on the service.

I’m not sure anyone other than a few key people knows exactly what the plan going forward will be, but I think pretty obvious changes will happen when HBO Max and Discovery+ merge into one platform. Whatever follows, there will be a ton of content that will appeal to a wide range of people, and between reality shows, prestigious HBO content, Warner Bros movies and many others, it may not make sense to be so HBO-centric either in title or marketing. More importantly, it may also not make sense to permanently store all content in a streaming service. Just as Disney splits its content between Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, as well as the various networks it owns, we can see some level of that with Warner Bros Discovery as well.