While HBO looks forward to a bright 2015, YouTube and Facebook are looking back at 2014’s most influential and moving moments.
We know HBO has already set its heart on launching a standalone streaming service, but so far details have been scarce. A new leaked memo tells us a bit more about the situation, but we know many of you will be more excited about the fact that HBO plans to launch this service by April, the same month Game of Thrones premieres its new season.
The memo sheds light on some major changes to the plan to build the service in-house a project internally known as “Maui”). Instead, it seems like HBO has partnered with MLB Advanced, which already has large clients like WWE Network. Here’s the memo:
HBO executive management has made a decision to pursue an external solution for the product that was being built by the Maui team. This decision was not made lightly, and was based on an assessment of risk and scope of the product needed to meet HBO¹s short term business needs for April 2015. This was not a judgment of the team’s work quality or deliverables but rather a bet that an existing streaming service could deliver the needed product faster and at lower risk than Maui.
This means that effective today the Maui project is cancelled.
Canceling a project is unpleasant, especially when the target is in sight and tantalizingly close. Drew and I have often discussed the excellent work done by the team on Maui – The Maui team was hitting deliverables ahead of schedule and at a high level of quality. Maui’s timeframe caused us to make concessions both in scope and culture. We look forward to returning to teams defining scope, and consumer experiences without forced top down scheduling.
The larger technology team now has three core missions.
1. Our top priority: Fully support the work needed to enable the external solution for April. To begin this work we have asked a small forward group to engage and assess with the external partner and get to a detailed statement of work as quickly as possible. Once that SoW is complete we will staff to meet our deliverables.
2. A large portion of Maui’s effort can be repurposed for HBO GO, a top priority for HBO. We will continue to make HBO GO the best global capable streaming service available. This means that we redouble and focus our efforts, first for the April timeframe with our scale and robustness goals for Game of Thrones, and second with our longer term plan to deploy Hurley, and a suite of Hadron clients as quickly as possible. We will also fold as much as possible of the good work done for Maui into HBO GO where we can.
3. We will continue our efforts around interactive and other future looking areas on a case by case basis the same way we do today.
Maui was a way to get us into market faster with a less than perfect solution – the external partner will take that burden allowing us to focus on the forward looking technologies we are creating for HBO GO.
Mark and Drew
Opinion: Releasing this service along with the new Game of Thrones season makes total sense. After all, this is the most pirated show in history. HBO will likely make a lot of cash out of this.
2014 is almost done, and we are looking forward to an even better 2015 (teaser: we have some awesome plans for our site!). We can’t deny this year was awesome, though, especially for us internet dwellers.
YouTube ha put together a video that sums up all the major video sensations of the year. You will find references to many videos and internet sensations, including the “react to” videos, “First Kiss”, “Devil Baby Attack” and even references to popular movies and shows, including the awesome “Let it go” song from Frozen.
You will also find that the Ice Bucket Challenge made it to the video. Much like the YouTube movement during 2014, it was a pretty significant part of the the YouTube Rewind 2014 video.
Opinion: This video is super fun. You have to watch it. And when you are done, it’s Facebook’s turn!
While YouTube’s 2014 video was more fun and upbeat, Facebook aims to reach our very soul with a much more inspirational and melancholic tone. The video comes with references to the Ice Bucket Challenge (of course), Ferguson, Malala, celebrities who have passed away and more.
Opinion: I have to say I am more fond of Facebook’s video, due to tis emotional nature. It’s the fun moments in life that we will take to our grave, but it is the hardships and accomplishing moments that define us. Facebook has done a good job at doing this. And whether you love or hate the social network, you can’t deny that it does help connect us to everyone. Facebook has changed the world.
But tell us – which video do you like more?