WarnerMedia is taking a different approach to commercializing its HBO Max streaming services than other high-profile new platforms that have debuted recently.
Instead of limiting sponsorships to an exclusive group of a dozen or so advertisers the way NBCUniversal’s Peacock or Quibi have, WarnerMedia is opening HBO Max inventory up to the entire marketplace, according to media buyers familiar with conversations.
“They are actively going in a completely different direction,” according to one media buyer, adding it is more of a straight media buy at this point. Agency buyers also say at least right now it seems to be a more modest initial commitment.
WarnerMedia is in early conversations with agencies and clients as part of its broader upfront negotiations, with plans to begin running ads in the platform in the back-half of 2021. Like its competitors, HBO Max is promising a lighter commercial load than traditional TV, but according to buyers there’s little other clarity around the ad model at this point.