Netflix and HBO are fighting over the original TV crown, but the amount of hours Netflix is putting out is overwhelming

game of thrones

  • HBO is expected to double the amount of scripted original
    programming hours it had in 2018 this year, as it goes head-to-head
    with Netflix in the streaming wars.
  • In total, HBO had 500 hours of original programming in 2018, an
    HBO spokesperson told Business Insider.
  • But Netflix is still way ahead. The streaming giant put out
    2,392 hours of original content last year, according to an estimate
    by Wall Street firm Cowen and Company.

After AT&T bought Time Warner last year, it took no time in
making known its intentions for the newly minted WarnerMedia’s
premium cable network, HBO: ramp up the production of original TV
shows and movies to compete with Netflix.

And we are now starting to see that play out. HBO is expected to
have 150 hours of original scripted programming this year, double
the 75 hours it had in 2018, a number that will likely rise again
in 2020, HBO’s programming boss told
The New York Times

READ MORE: Netflix has canceled ‘Fuller House’
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In total, HBO put out 500 hours of original content in the US in
2018, counting scripted content, documentaries, talks shows, and
other formats, an HBO spokesperson told Business Insider.

But it’s still far behind Netflix, and it’s not even close.

Netflix had 483 hours of original programming in just the first
quarter of 2018, according to an estimate from Wall Street firm
Cowen and Company. That decreased slightly in Q2 to 452 hours, but
rose again to 676 hours in Q3, and then to a high of 781 hours in
Q4. Netflix put out an estimated grand total of 2,392 original
programming hours in 2018. (Netflix did not respond to a request
for confirmation from Business Insider, and an exact figure can get
complicated for Netflix because of various types of worldwide
licensing deals.)

The chart below shows an estimate of Netflix’s original
programming hours released in 2018:

Netflix original hours

Netflix put out nearly five times more hours of original content
than HBO in 2018. And the streaming giant’s goal was
to have 1,000 new original movies and shows
in its catalog by
the end of 2018, content head Ted Sarandos said in May.

The chart below compares the hours of original content for both
HBO and Netflix in 2018:

Netflix vs. HBO original hours

But the amount of hours isn’t everything.

HBO has already developed a sterling reputation with creators
and talent. It is known for its quality programming and credited
with kickstarting the golden age of TV.

Last year was the first time in 17 years that HBO didn’t receive
the most Emmy nominations of any network. It came in second.
Netflix came in first, with 112 nominations to HBO’s 108. The two
networks ultimately tied for most wins with 23 each, despite the
imbalance in the amount of hours released.

Hello, Monday night

HBO’s focus in recent years has been on a stacked primetime
lineup on Sunday nights. But that strategy will shift under
AT&T’s control, and there will soon be two hours of prime-time
scripted content on Monday nights as well,
The New York Times reported

AT&T is also
expected to launch its own streaming service
this year that
would include HBO.

The ramp-up in production of content shows a new focus of
AT&T and WarnerMedia to get subscribers to “engage” more
frequently with HBO.

“It’s not hours a week, and it’s not hours a month,” WarnerMedia
John Stankey said during a town hall last July
. “We need hours
a day. You are competing with devices that sit in people’s hands
that capture their attention every 15 minutes. I want more hours of

“If you think about the battle we’re in right now, it’s a battle
for customer engagement,”
Stankey elaborated to CNN
. “Our job is to figure out how to get
our fair share … If you can control your intellectual property,
then you have the flexibility as to how you move it around your
technology platforms. And this becomes even more important if you
start thinking about the global dynamics of this industry and how
it’s going to evolve over time.”

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Netflix and HBO are fighting over the original TV crown, but the amount of hours Netflix is putting out is overwhelming