WarnerMedia has tapped television veteran Kevin Reilly to be the Chief Creative Officer for their new direct-to-consumer streaming service. Reilly will retain his position as President of TBS and TNT, as well as Chief Creative Officer at Turner Entertainment. Reilly has been tasked with creating a strategy for the new platform to create its identity and will also oversee the content that is made available.
Reilly is a seasoned, forward thinking executive who has handled programming for NBC, Fox, TNT and TBS. After joining Turner in 2015, he experimented with distribution patterns and multi-platform releases, led the charge in reducing ad loads and has created original, bingeable serie. Read the memo regarding Reilly’s achievements and the decision to hire him from WarnerMedia’s CEO, John Stankey, here.
Photo from Variety
Over the past year, WarnerMedia has taken strides to fill key leadership roles for their new streaming service, which will be separate from HBO Now. These hires have included AT&T veteran Brad Bentley as general manager and EVP of the direct-to-consumer unit and Turner CTO Jeremy Legg, who will handle the technology side of the service. Currently, there is little information available regarding the new platform’s relationship with other WarnerMedia digital properties, such as Boomerang and DC Universe, though there is speculation that these existing platforms will be merged with the new one.
The streaming service is slated to be released in the fourth quarter of 2019 and programming will draw from the company’s library that includes franchises such as Harry Potter and LEGO, as well as sitcoms like Friends and The Big Bang Theory. Reilly’s hiring suggests that original programming will also be part of the platforms portfolio, though no projects have been released yet.
Photo from Variety
At the end of 2018, WarnerMedia announced a three tier structure for customers to choose from to personalize their experience. The lowest tier includes a starter movie package, the next tier has original programming and blockbuster movies and the third tier includes content from the lower tiers, as well as additional content from the WarnerMedia library and, in the future, licensed content from third parties.
Stankey intends for this service to compete with Netflix, Amazon and Disney’s soon-to-be-released digital platform, Disney Play.
“We are committed to launching a compelling and competitive product that will serve as a complement to our existing businesses and help us to expand our reach by offering a new choice for entertainment with the WarnerMedia collection of films, television series, libraries, documentaries and animation,” Stankey said at Reilly’s announcement.