If the river makes noise, it is because the water is flowing. We already knew that Warner Bros. Discovery I had intentions to merge HBO Max and Discovery+, but now it’s official. From 2023, HBO Max and Discovery+ will be integrated into a single new service.
This was confirmed by JB Perrette, CEO and President of Global Streaming & Interactive at Warner Bros. Discovery, during the company’s second quarter results presentation. As the executive put it: “At the end of the day, putting all the content together was the only way we could see to make it a viable business“.
No name, but dated
Warner Bros. Discovery does not yet have a name or brand for the service resulting from this merger, nor a price. Let’s remember that HBO Max came with a introductory offer of 4.49 euros for life, so we will have to see what happens with the already subscribed. For the moment, the objective of the merger is to avoid the loss of subscribers, by offering more content on the same platform.
This happens by reducing friction at the entrance, and for this reason, Perrette assures that they are “investigating how to reach customers in the open space with advertising”. That’s to say HBO Max-Discovery is studying a free plan with ads which, in principle, would have different content than the premium / paid versions. HBO Max and Discovery+ already offer these freemium terms in the US.
The merger of HBO Max and Discovery+ will combine the benefits of both services, the exec said. We don’t know if HBO will continue to be part of the brand of this service, because while it is true that HBO is a powerful brand, the company is analyzing its perception of the merger.
And when will this service be launched? In the United States, in the summer of 2023. Then it will arrive in Latin America, already in the fall of the same year. In early 2024, it will be launched in Europein the middle of Asia-Pacific and in the rest of the markets in the fall of 2024. We will have to wait until then to see the result.
Another thing that stands out is that now Warner Bros. Discovery will give the combined number of subscribers of both services. So now we know the company has a total 92.1 million subscribers.
HBO Max and Discovery+ currently have 92.1 million subscribers worldwide
Previous figures were 76.8 million subscribers for HBO and HBO Max and 24 million for Discovery (100.8 million). The crux of the problem is that now they use another definition of subscriberwhich does not include “ten million non-prime Discovery subscribers and non-activated AT&T Mobility subscribers from Q1 subscriber count”.
Under this new definition, Warner Bros. Discovery ensures gained 1.7 million subscribers last quarter. With the merger, the goal is to reach 130 million subscribers worldwide and generate $1 billion in revenue.
Through | Variety