Warner Bros. have joined the streaming bandwagon with today’s launch of their in-house service HBO Max. The newest kid on the block will have a huge library of content available for viewing, with big names including Joker, The Lord of the Rings and The Matrix to name a few. But there are few bigger than Harry Potter, a beloved franchise that looked set to be missing from the launch line-up due to a previous licensing arrangement with NBC Universal.
Thankfully, Warner have pulled a rabbit out of the hat. All eight Harry Potter films are now available to stream on HBO Max – there’ll be no waiting for the contract to run down. Given that the deal the studio had with NBC was to run until 2025, one imagines it’s cost them a pretty penny to bring the Boy Who Lived back under their roof. But clearly, the absence of one of their biggest names would’ve been even dearer.
Between Disney+, HBO Max, Netflix, Apple TV and Amazon Prime, you’re going to have to remortgage your house to subscribe to all of them. Or get increasingly creative with your family sharing solutions. Or just go outside. The choice is yours.
It’ll be intriguing to see how Warner fare in an already oversaturated market, though. Alongside Disney+, they easily boast the most substantial content library, but what they might not be able to compete on is brand power. Netflix have long-established a reputation for quality, as well as being a forerunner for the whole medium. Disney, on the other hand, have stolen a march with their launch 7 months ago. Not to mention being the most recognizable entertainment provider in the world. No doubt Warner Bros. will be hoping Harry Potter’s inclusion on HBO Max gives them a footing to build on.