HBO Max the team wants its app to be not only a place where people find great movie premieres, but also podcasts. The company today announced plans to release a new Batman podcast, Batman: Sound Adventures, exclusively in-app, so it cannot be accessed by other podcasts or via an RSS feed. The screenplay program, with Jeffrey Wright as Batman and Rosario Dawson as Batwoman, will premiere this fall, even though no exact date has been given.
In a chat with a person Limit, Joshua Walker, HBO Max’s strategy manager, says he made the decision Batman: Sound Adventures the exclusive is related to the fact that the performance is a manuscript of the original series.
“As for the scripted originals, our working theory now is that they should ignore our other scripted original content exclusively in the HBO Max environment,” Walker says. “But since we’re in the early stages of scripted original audio content, we look at this as a lesson to be learned and see how it evolves over time.
The program contains no ads and is part of the content of the HBO Max subscriber. (Using the sound doesn’t cost extra.)
In addition to the news, HBO also announced other upcoming podcasts, including a screenplay sequel to Issa Rae’s film. Looking for Latoya, called We keep looking, as well as new OC was played as an affiliate podcast Welcome to OC, bitches. Both will become available on HBO Max, and Walker will refuse to say it for good Looking for LaToy would be exclusive or not because it is the script of the original show.
HBO tries to turn its app into an audio and video destination, but makes HBO Max the only place Batman: Sound Adventures is an interesting gamble. The app in its current form is clearly designed for video functions, and right now you’re listening to a podcast in the app, such as Chernobyl partner presentation, requires users to search for it manually – there is no podcast landing page. Locking the phone also closes the podcast, and when open, the video player only keeps a static image on the screen that advertises the ability to listen to the program in other podcast applications. It’s clearly not a fully built-in podcast experience. The team says it intends to allow the locked phone to be listened to at some point, but did not commit to a date when deployment may take place.
Yet the strategy behind the exclusivity decision seems to seek to leverage valuable IP and stellar power to attract more people to HBO Max. It’s just unclear if anyone wants to listen to their podcasts there, especially if the experience isn’t comparable to real podcasts.
At the same time, it’s easy to see why HBO wants to double the sound. Its competitors, namely Netflix, have also invested in an even stronger podcast strategy. Netflix paid its first podcast director, N’Jeri Eaton, formerly Apple Podcasts, last month and is using podcasting as a marketing tool to encourage more people to come to its video app and subscribe. However, podcasts are available everywhere, presumably to reach people who are not already in the Netflix ecosystem.