With the recent announcement that DC’s Stargirl is getting a renewal straight to CW, its time to admit that the DC Universe service is dead. While the service started with some promise, lately its known more for what exclusives it doesn’t have. None of its original show lineup save for Young Justice is even an exclusive to the service any longer. The timing of the announcement only serves to strengthen the inevitable shuttering of the service.
When AT&T took control of TimeWarner, it was widely believed that they would be entering the streaming wars. HBOmax was created to compete with the likes of Netflix & Disney+. The announcement of Doom Patrol and Green Lantern led a lot of people to speculate over DC Universe’s future. Despite the initial reassurances of authorities, DC Universe keep losing exclusive offerings. The niche nature of DC Universe requires it to have enough special items to offer to subscribers. The only remaining unique offering is its excellent comic book service. This is simply not enough to keep people invested in paying for the service if they can get the offering elsewhere.
The Service For Fans Lost Its Exclusivity
Let’s count the number of exclusives that the service no longer has. DC Daily, the daily webshow based around DC announcements and releases just got cancelled. Doom Patrol, airs weekly on HBOmax. Titans Season 3 will certainly find its way onto HBOmax. Swamp Thing was cancelled, but is coming to The CW. Harley Quinn is already airing on Syfy and HBOmax. No more exclusives.
There is an active push to move people away from DC Universe. Current subscribers are being offered a discount to subscribe to HBOmax. Full disclosure: I have been a subscriber to DC Universe since it launched. I personally don’t use the service much at all. The video offerings I already own separately from the service itself. Outside of the comic service of the entire DC comics library, I don’t really need it. Originally, I signed up for Young Justice Season 4, and to be honest, nothing else has been worth price of admission. Everything else on the service is already being offered elsewhere.
If this was inevitable, why even start the service in the first place? DC Universe launched in late 2018. HBOmax launched one & a half years later. It would seem that Warner Bros. was throwing money down the drain in launching it. They should be applauded for trying to create a service for the fans. The service didn’t gain enough subs, nor did it seem to have the full support of the company funding it.
Question remains, what will become of the service. How long can they afford to keep it going if they won’t feed it exclusive content? Is having access to DC’s entire comic book library a good enough reason? Would you keep paying for it, if they only spoon-fed it other DC offerings? What do you think of the latest news?