HBO Max is getting its own exclusive podcasts, starting with Batman

The HBO Max workforce desires its app to not simply be the place individuals discover massive film premieres however podcasts, too. The corporate introduced in the present day that it’s planning to launch its new Batman podcast, Batman: The Audio Adventures, as an in-app exclusive, that means it received’t make its technique to different podcasting apps or be accessible by an RSS feed. The scripted present, which options Jeffrey Wright as Batman and Rosario Dawson as Batwoman, will premiere this fall, though no precise date was supplied.

In a chat with The Verge, Joshua Walker, chief technique officer at HBO Max, says the choice to make Batman: The Audio Adventures exclusive has to do with the present being a scripted unique sequence.

“For scripted originals our working principle now is that they need to sit apart our different scripted unique content material completely throughout the HBO Max atmosphere,” Walker says. “However as a result of we’re early days on scripted unique audio content material we do have a look at this as one thing that we’ll study from, and we’ll see the way it develops over time as we go from right here.”

The present received’t embody advertisements and will likely be a part of HBO Max subscribers’ included content material. (It received’t price additional to entry the audio.)

Alongside with that information, HBO additionally introduced different new, forthcoming podcasts together with a scripted sequel to Issa Rae’s Trying For Latoya, known as We Keep Trying, in addition to a brand new OC companion podcast known as Welcome to The OC, Bitches. Each of those will likely be accessible on HBO Max, with Walker declining to say definitively whether or not Trying For Latoya can be an exclusive or not, provided that it’s a scripted unique present.

HBO is attempting to show its app right into a vacation spot for audio, in addition to video, however making HBO Max the one place for Batman: The Audio Adventures is an fascinating gamble. The app in its present type is clearly designed for video performance, and proper now, listening to a podcast within the app, just like the Chernobyl companion present, requires customers to seek for it manually — there’s no devoted podcast touchdown web page. Additionally, locking your cellphone shuts off the podcast, and when open, the video participant simply retains a static picture on-screen promoting the flexibility to hearken to the present on different podcast apps. It’s clearly not a totally built-out podcast expertise. The workforce says it plans to permit for locked cellphone listening in some unspecified time in the future, however didn’t decide to a date when that rollout may occur.

Nonetheless, the technique behind the exclusivity resolution seems to be attempting to leverage beneficial IP and star energy to attract extra individuals to the HBO Max app. It’s simply unclear if anybody desires to hearken to their podcasts there, particularly if the expertise isn’t akin to precise podcasting apps.

On the identical time, it’s simple to see why HBO desires to double down on audio. Its rivals, particularly Netflix, have additionally turn into extra invested in a extra sturdy podcasting technique. Netflix hired its first podcast government, N’Jeri Eaton, beforehand of Apple Podcasts, final month and makes use of podcasting as a advertising device to encourage extra individuals to return to its video app and subscribe. The podcasts can be found in all places, although, presumably to succeed in individuals who aren’t already within the Netflix ecosystem.

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