Warner Bros Discover (WBD) has scored a coup by inking a "Pay-1" deal with indie darling A24 for priority streaming rights, the company announced. That means new releases from A24 like Iron Claw (above) will appear first on HBO, Max and Cinemax before streaming on any other platform. The deal also extends WBD's licensing for A24's film catalog, giving it access to titles like Uncut Gems, Everything Everywhere All At Once and others.
"Movies included in the pay-1 output agreement include Dicks: The Musical, Priscilla, Dream Scenario, The Zone of Interest, Stop Making Sense (2023), The Iron Claw, Love Lies Bleeding, Civil War, and more," Warner Bros Discovery wrote in a press release. "Between the existing and new library of A24 films, subscribers will have access to more than one hundred A24 titles over the term of the agreement."
Typically films start in theaters, then go to digital purchase/rental before heading to streaming or OTA broadcast. Pay-1 gives streaming companies exclusive access to titles for a period of 12-18 months before they had to Pay-2 for general licensing and syndication.
Paramount's Showtime has held the Pay-1 deal with A24 since 2019, but it expired in November 2022 (and was then extended a year), according to IndieWire. WBD only mentions having Pay-1 access to A24 movies released after the new deal, so anything released before that (Talk to Me, The Inspection and others) will likely remain Pay-1 on Showtime.
In any case, the deal will be a boon for A24 and viewers in general. WBD's Max and Discovery+ have a combined 95.1 million subscribers, while Paramount+ has 63 million subs, and not all of those have the ad-free "with Showtime" tier. Around the end of 2022, HBO and HBO Max gained access to some of A24's older films, but they'll now have many more, over 100 in total.
Just ahead of the A24 deal, WBD was touting the improved tech and a updated UI of the Max streaming app. Other upcoming A24 films include Tuesday (2024, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and Problemista (2024, Julio Torres, Tilda Swinton and RZA).