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WarnerMedia is launching a new branded content studio, in a bid to turbocharge HBO Max’s new advertising-supported tier.
The new studio, called House of Max, “will deliver marketers meaningful and brand-forward partnership opportunities aligned with WarnerMedia’s renowned talent, iconic characters, resounding storytellers and premium brands to drive full-funnel business results,” the company says. In other words, marketers will be able to utilize HBO Max talent and IP in custom campaigns that will be available on HBO Max and elsewhere.
House of Max, which will launch in Q4 of 2021, will also develop creative for WarnerMedia’s other entertainment properties, which include TBS, TNT, and Adult Swim.
HBO Max with Ads, as the tier is called, is one of the big swings championed by WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar. It launched in June at a $9.99 price point, a $5 discount from the standard HBO Max pricing. All HBO programs remain ad-free, with library content and Max Originals featuring a light ad load. In addition, the ad-supported tier does not have the Warner Bros. films released the same day-and date as theaters, which the regular tier does have.
Kilar said at a conference earlier this year that the company wanted the ad-supported tier to be “brand safe” and “elegant,” with only 4 minutes of advertising per hour of content. That being said, the company is also pursuing ads that are not disruptive programming, such as pause ads, or ads integrated into the user interface.
WarnerMedia says House of Max “will closely collaborate with the HBO Max product team to create an effective environment that aligns with marketers’ goals and puts the viewer at the heart of the streaming experience,” the company says.
Maureen Polo, senior vp of entertainment marketing solutions for WarnerMedia will lead House of Max, with Elaine Andrade, senior vp and executive creative director for WarnerMedia serving as creative lead.
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