Discovery Plus and HBO Max merge next year, new service debuts in summer 2023
It was bound to happen sooner or later once AT&T sold Warner Media to Discovery, the two merging to become Warner Bros. Discovery. Now it has been set in stone, with the announcement that HBO Max and Discovery Plus streaming services will cease to exist starting in the summer of 2023. The news was announced today during a Warner Bros. Discovery earnings call, where the company gave some details about its future.
While the streaming services will cease to exist, they won’t be going away entirely. Instead, Warner Bros. Discovery will be merging the two services together and launching a new streaming service in the United States during the summer of 2023. It should be interesting, as both services cater to different audiences and have different content. This could be a complete package, with two halves equalling one whole. In a move that none will find surprising, the motive is purely financial, as the company doesn’t want to maintain two different streaming services. It also wants to minimize subscribers leaving its services.
For now, the upcoming streaming service does not have a name, but the company will focus on a premium and ad-supported version. The firm did stress that the content found on the premium and ad-supported versions will be different. It also talked about the back-end of each service, stating that while HBO Max currently offers a robust catalog, it suffers from technical issues. Discover Plus is the complete opposite, offering a streamlined experience but with limited content. The good thing is that it knows its services strengths and weaknesses.
The reliability of the new service could become a big issue, especially when merging subscribers. Hopefully, it will be able to create an experience that is celebrated. Once the United States launch has stabilized, the firm will look to roll out to other regions. For now, that means expansion to Latin America in the later part of 2023, Europe in early 2024, and Asia in mid-2024. If all goes well, more regions will gain access to the service in the later part of 2024. With a current subscriber count of 92.1 million across HBO Max and Discovery Plus, the company is looking to take things further, estimating it will reach 130 million global subscribers by 2025.
What’s your take on this? How much would you pay monthly for the new service arriving next year? Let us know in the comments below.