Understanding Why HBO Max Is Removing Titles Like Westworld from Its Streaming Service

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Like it or not (we hate it), HBO Max seems to be clearing house one last time before the end of the year.

Today, HBO announced that they would soon pull Westworld, Love Life, Mix, and The Neversfrom their streaming catalog.

While the good news is that many of these shows should find life via third-party FAST (free, ad-supported TV channels – think Roku or Pluto TV) platforms, the report is disappointing, nonetheless. 

Following the merger between AT&T spinoff WarnerMedia, and Discovery, Inc. in April, Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) has become a streaming conglomerate focused on “cutting the fat.”

A press release from August noted, “As we work toward bringing our content catalogs together under one platform, we will be making changes to the content offering available on both HBO Max and discovery+… That will include the removal of some content from both platforms.”

It seems that they are staying true to their word. 

Westworld, Love Life, Mix, and The Nevers follow the earlier August removal of 36 notable titles. Below are just a small selection of the removed series and films.

HBO Max Originals

  • About Last Night
  • Ellen’s Next Great Designer
  • Generation Hustle
  • Ravi Patel’s Pursuit of Happiness
  • The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo

HBO Originals

  • My Dinner with Herve
  • Share

Cartoon Network

  • Dodo
  • Mighty Magiswords
  • Uncle Grandpa

Acquired Titles

  • Detention Adventure
  • Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures
  • Make It Big, Make It Small
  • Squish

According to CNN, the removal of titles from their streaming catalog can be broke down into three primary categories: “cost-cutting, a shift in the overall content strategy and ridding the service of content that subscribers weren’t watching.” 

Further, investors were told during the merger that the new company would cut at least $3 billion in costs. CNN further explains the breakdown.

Streaming services still must pay residuals to casts and crews of a production, and those costs pile up. HBO Max will save “north of $100 million annually” after removing the shows, according to a source familiar with HBO’s decision.” 

When and where these pulled titles will travel remains unknown.

With technology and media companies cutting costs across the board, it may be a few months before some of the titles pop up once again.

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