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The streaming battles are getting even busier with WarnerMedia’s challenge to Netflix

“My job isn’t to build another Netflix,” WarnerMedia chief John Stankey said.

WarnerMedia’s John Stankey onstage in front of a backdrop that reads, “Let freedom stream”
WarnerMedia’s John Stankey
Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for DirecTV

The media arm of AT&T, WarnerMedia, is launching a direct-to-consumer streaming service that will compete with Netflix by leveraging content libraries from places like HBO.

It’s yet another competitor in the increasingly crowded streaming battle led by Netflix but these days joined by new entrants like Disney and Amazon. It’s also a sign of how WarnerMedia, the new division that formed in the wake of AT&T’s acquisiton of Time Warner, is thinking about reaching its customer.

“My job isn’t to build another Netflix,” WarnerMedia chief John Stankey said onstage Wednesday at the Vanity Fair conference. “Our job is to build a compelling offer of content that gets a large number of customers to say it’s worth paying that much money.”

Other parts of WarnerMedia include Turner and Warner Bros. Customers will still be able to purchase HBO-only streaming services, and Stankey said the new product will be “anchored by HBO as a lead brand.” But you won’t be able to purchase solely the other third-party content on its own — it’ll be part of the new HBO-led bundle.

Details are still being ironed out, Stankey admitted, but he wanted to announce it ASAP to end speculation in the media world about what WarnerMedia was planning for streaming. Stankey didn’t share any information on pricing but said it would launch in the fourth quarter of 2019 — so there is a lot of time to figure things out. Not included, as of now, is CNN, but Stankey said it’s “inevitable” that news properties are added to the service at some point in the future.

Also inevitable? Creating content for AT&T specifically, Stankey said.

“We’ll do both within our business.”

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