Saturday, March 25, 2023

WarnerMedia Head Of Originals EMEA Says HBO Max European Content Will Be “Broader” & “Not High-Brow”; 50% Of New Series Will Be Unscripted

Anthony Root, who heads up WarnerMedia’s originals drive across EMEA, has outlined his vision for the studio’s European content as it continues to roll out HBO Max across the continent.

During his keynote at Series Mania today, Root promised “a broader approach going forward” in terms of both form and genre, saying that series would often still have HBO’s trademark edge but “should be accessible”.

He noted that HBO Max is aiming to reach “broader audiences than the traditional HBO audience” and said the studio’s streaming service “is not about doing highbrow”. The exec also qualified that content “can have complexity” and that the company is “not in the business of making banal television”.

Root pointed to HBO Max in the U.S., which he said had a more varied offering, including unscripted content as well as the traditional high-end dramas and docs that HBO is famous for.

He explained that the goal was to make 12 scripted shows in a given year from across the European stable, and within a couple of years it would be producing “the same number of unscripted shows”. Those could be competition formats, reality TV, or documentary series that are more “pop-ier” than the company has traditionally made.

“We can ask for the same deal of authenticity while at the same time being a guilty pleasure,” he added.

As revealed earlier today at Series Mania, WarnerMedia is plotting further European expansion for its premium streamer HBO Max, with the company launching the platform in Spain and the Nordics this fall, follows by Central and Eastern Europe and Portugal next year.

Root acknowledged the continued absence of the service in the likes of the UK and France, noting the “very successful” content partnerships that have prohibited launching in those countries to date, but adding that “clearly in the long term our eyes are open to having a streaming service in those countries as well.”


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