HBO
Now playing
03:55
These shows are vying to be the next 'Game of Thrones'
nickelodeon/from youtube
Now playing
01:33
'Real World,' 'Frasier,' 'Spongebob:' See the reboots coming to this new streaming service
Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot and director Zack Snyder on the set of 'Justice League.'
Warner Bros.
Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot and director Zack Snyder on the set of 'Justice League.'
Now playing
01:02
See the new trailer for the 'Justice League' director's cut
Detail of a mans hand scrolling through Netflix on an Apple iPad Pro, taken on March 6, 2020. (Photo by Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
Future Publishing via Getty Imag
Detail of a mans hand scrolling through Netflix on an Apple iPad Pro, taken on March 6, 2020. (Photo by Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
Now playing
04:27
2020 was supposed to be the year of streaming. Instead, it was the year of Netflix
Now playing
01:47
Discovery CEO: Discovery+ has a library as big as Netflix's
Now playing
01:54
Warner Bros. to stream all 2021 films while in theaters
Disney+
Now playing
01:17
'The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special' reimagines fan favorites as toys
Paul Bettany is Vision and Elizabeth Olsen is Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios' WANDAVISION, exclusively on Disney+.
Marvel Studios/Marvel Studios
Paul Bettany is Vision and Elizabeth Olsen is Wanda Maximoff in Marvel Studios' WANDAVISION, exclusively on Disney+.
Now playing
01:07
See the Marvel 'WandaVision' series trailer
From Walt Disney Studios/Disney+/YouTube
Now playing
01:01
'Hamilton' movie trailer released ahead of Disney+ premiere
BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 29: Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment & Direct-To-Consumer, speaks onstage at HBO Max WarnerMedia Investor Day Presentation at Warner Bros. Studios on October 29, 2019 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for WarnerMedia)
Presley Ann/Getty Images for WarnerMedia
BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 29: Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment & Direct-To-Consumer, speaks onstage at HBO Max WarnerMedia Investor Day Presentation at Warner Bros. Studios on October 29, 2019 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for WarnerMedia)
Now playing
03:30
HBO Max is here. Its boss explains why it's worth the price
Ivan Marc/Shutterstock
Now playing
03:01
Disney is investing big in streaming. Here's why
BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 29: Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment & Direct-To-Consumer, speaks onstage at HBO Max WarnerMedia Investor Day Presentation at Warner Bros. Studios on October 29, 2019 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for WarnerMedia)
Presley Ann/Getty Images for WarnerMedia
BURBANK, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 29: Robert Greenblatt, Chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment & Direct-To-Consumer, speaks onstage at HBO Max WarnerMedia Investor Day Presentation at Warner Bros. Studios on October 29, 2019 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Presley Ann/Getty Images for WarnerMedia)
Now playing
02:15
Here's a first look at the new HBO Max
John General
Now playing
03:17
Why Amazon Prime Video isn't Netflix
CNN
Now playing
02:05
Disney CEO Bob Iger maps out his strategy for streaming
Photo Illustration/CNN
Now playing
02:00
Disney+ will lure millennial subscribers with nostalgia
Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces Apple tv+ during a launch event at Apple headquarters on March 25, 2019, in Cupertino, California. (Photo by NOAH BERGER / AFP)        (Photo credit should read NOAH BERGER/AFP/Getty Images)
NOAH BERGER/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces Apple tv+ during a launch event at Apple headquarters on March 25, 2019, in Cupertino, California. (Photo by NOAH BERGER / AFP) (Photo credit should read NOAH BERGER/AFP/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:54
Apple TV+ gets star-studded intro
(CNN) —  

Four months after being acquired by AT&T, WarnerMedia is making plans for a streaming TV service that will be sold directly to consumers.

WarnerMedia, the division of AT&T that includes HBO, Turner and Warner Bros, announced the new venture on Wednesday.

It will launch in the fourth quarter of 2019, WarnerMedia CEO John Stankey said.

It has the potential to be a direct competitor to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney’s forthcoming streaming service.

The product will build on the success of HBO Now, which streams live and on-demand HBO programming through apps and smart TVs.

“Our service will start with HBO and the genre defining programming that viewers crave. On top of that we will package content from Turner and Warner Bros. with their deep brand connections that touch both diverse interests and mass audiences,” Stankey said in an internal memo.

Details like pricing and the name of the new service will be announced later. But it clearly represents a big bet by WarnerMedia, which officially became part of AT&T back in June.

The streaming space is getting more and more crowded every day. There are dozens of niche TV services alongside giants like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. All of these are, in industry parlance, “direct to consumer” offerings, cutting out traditional middlemen like cable companies.

The WarnerMedia service is sure to draw comparisons to Disney’s plans for a direct to consumer streaming service. Disney’s venture is expected to launch in late 2019 and is part of a strategic shift at the company.

Stankey said WarnerMedia will balance its existing deals with distributors with its standalone streaming aspirations. Those existing deals with cable and satellite operators supply the per-subscriber fees that are the foundation of the business.

That foundation isn’t going away, but it is being eroded by changing consumer habits. Thus WarnerMedia believes it needs its own Netflix-like platform.

“While going direct-to-consumer gives us an additional opportunity to reach audiences that aren’t part of a traditional subscription service, our wholesale relationships will continue to be an important distribution channel,” Stankey said. “So, it will be a priority to work with our partners to deliver a compelling and competitive product that will complement our wholesale distribution, allowing us to reach the largest number of viewers.”

CNN is a unit of Turner. But the new service will not include news programming at first. It will feature a wide variety of entertainment content, tapping into the Warner library of films like “Harry Potter.”

Some of the Warner Bros.’ television shows up for negotiation include “ER” and “The Big Bang Theory,” which aired on NBC and the CBS, respectively. If WarnerMedia is successful in its bid for the streaming rights to these shows, that could give it a leg up against its competitors CBS All Access, Hulu and Netflix.

WarnerMedia will have to navigate a thicket of contracts with existing distributors like Comcast and Netflix. That’s one of the reasons why the plan was announced on Wednesday – Stankey said staffers will now be able to work “openly on important technology, branding, affiliate, licensing and marketing issues.”