HBO to Outsource Development of New Streaming Service

Posted by at 1:07 pm on December 10, 2014

HBO Go LogoTo take on Netflix, Hulu and YouTube with a first-rate streaming video service, HBO came to Seattle two years ago and assembled a team of engineers with experience building global entertainment services.
The ambitious mission and glamorous brand helped the company recruit a team largely drawn from Microsoft.

But now the fate of the Seattle office is in limbo after executives in New York abruptly changed direction and decided to outsource HBO’s streaming service, rather than build its own platform, the Seattle Times is reporting.

The about-face was also revealed today by Fortune magazine that quoted anonymous sources critical of the project and its progress.

In a statement released by the company, Berkes said he moved to New York “for the opportunity to build something truly transformative for HBO’s business and the media industry.” The decision to use a partner to stream its content “is a change in direction from what I planned with HBO and the approach will not utilize my overall capabilities.”

A few hours later Drew Angeloff, the HBO senior vice president managing the team in Seattle, also resigned. Angeloff is also a Microsoft veteran.

HBO indicated that it plans to keep the Seattle office intact although it’s unclear how long the team will stick around, now that its founder is leaving and its primary project is being scuttled.

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