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Photo: Consumer Technology Association

The HBO Max team is looking at ways to make the streaming service more mobile-friendly than some of its subscription video competitors.

Why it matters: If AT&T can build an app that can successfully leans into mobile, it may be able to capture an audience that Netflix and Hulu have intentionally been less focused on, at least to date.

What they're saying: "General entertainment SVOD (subscription video on-demand) writ-large has underinvested in mobile today," EVP & GM of WarnerMedia Direct-to-Consumer Andy Forssell told Axios on stage at CES.

  • "There are phenomenal collections of short-form. If you've got five minutes to burn, I think we've got to be aggressive enough to make that a real choice versus checking your Twitter feed or whatever else that may be."
  • "We are experimenting with things that are far more social more swipey," says Forssell. "What's a good way in five minutes or ten minutes to have a great experience?

What it looks like: WarnerMedia CTO Jeremy Legg says that the company is looking to break up the traditional "endless sets of tiles" that consumers have gotten used to on subscription video interfaces with highlight features and other clips.

Our thought bubble: The second-screen opportunity for a lot of HBO content is already huge, just think about how crazy Game of Thrones Twitter can be. But getting users to develop a mobile relationship with a streaming app will be hard when the app has to compete against Instagram and Snapchat, among others.

Go deeper: A new entertainment world order

Disclosure: Axios has a TV show on HBO called "Axios on HBO."

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

House cancels Thursday session as FBI, Homeland Security warn of threat to Capitol

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security predict violent domestic extremists attacks will increase in 2021, according to a report obtained by Axios.

Driving the news: The joint report says extremists have discussed plans to take control of the Capitol and "remove Democratic lawmakers" on or about March 4. The House canceled its plans for Thursday votes as word of the possible threats spread.

3 hours ago - World

Pope Francis set to make first papal visit to Iraq amid possible turmoil

Data: Vatican News; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Pope Francis is forging ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite new coronavirus outbreaks and fears of instability.

The big picture: The March 5–8 visit is intended to reassure Christians in Iraq who were violently persecuted under the Islamic State. Francis also hopes to further ties with Shiite Muslims, AP notes.

"Neanderthal thinking": Biden slams states lifting mask mandates

States that are relaxing coronavirus restrictions are making "a big mistake," President Biden told reporters on Wednesday, adding: "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking."

Driving the news: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said Wednesday he will end all coronavirus restrictions via executive order, although some businesses are continuing to ask patrons to wear face masks. Mississippi is lifting its mask mandate for all counties Wednesday, per Gov. Tate Reeves (R).