The entertainment world has been wondering about the plans of Warner Bros. Discoveryas the company owns and operates two major streamers: HBO Max y Discovery Plus.
Rumors were flying that WBD would merge its two streaming platforms and make it one, in a strategic move that will lead them to help the reach of Discovery+, and expand the HBO Max catalog, although honestly, within the world of streaming services, HBO Max is the one that offers the highest quality content to its subscribers.
Finally, Warner Bros. Discovery executives revealed their plans for the servicesconfirming that both streamers will be merged and will be launched as a new global service, with release date for summer 2023 in the United States, and fall 2023 in Latin America.
- The streaming service is targeting profitability in the US by 2024 and reaching 130 million subscribers by 2025, up from 92 million today.
David ZaslavCEO of WBD, explained that after the new global service takes hold, the company also plans to launch an ad-supported free streaming service with some of its content, part of a “diversified approach” to streaming.
“Our streaming strategy has evolved over the past year and reflects the importance, rather than reliance on [streaming]. [La compañía] will reveal its free or “FAST” service “once our SVOD service is firmly established in the market”.
- Warner Bros. Discovery reported a $1.5 million loss for the quarter for its streaming division.
JB Perrettewho is in charge of the company’s streaming division, detailed the plans:
- There will be a single streaming service, under one brand, whose name is yet to be determined. The US launch will be in the summer of 2023, followed by Latin America in the fall of 2023, followed by Europe and other markets in 2024.
- The new streamer will feature the full “unique and complementary” content libraries of both servicesbut it will use the Discovery+ technology stack, which Perrette says has received more positive feedback from users than HBO Max’s interface.
- The combined service will be launched with a “big and loud” marketing campaign intended to highlight the huge library of content.
- As for the free service, Perrette noted that the company currently licenses much of its content for free AVOD services, but will reevaluate those deals. “There is a lot of work to do in the coming months. We are determined to get it right, which will take a bit of time.”
- WBD revealed that Magnolia Network programming would join HBO Max, while some original CNN programming would join Discovery+. That announcement highlighted the fact that no merger between the services was imminent. Now we know the release date of the new streamer. Perrette said other content may switch between streaming services before the combined streamer launches.
- Perrette added that, “looking ahead, we will continue to have a healthy investment in content,” albeit at a “more measured pace” than previous plans.
- It was explained that the team “couldn’t find” an economic model to support expensive direct-to-consumer movies like the case of Wonder Twins, Scoob: Holiday Haunty Batgirlthe latter was canceled by the company after the film completed principal photography, which has caused enormous annoyance among the fandom of the DC character.
Last but not least, Warner Bros. Discovery will no longer guarantee that movies released theatrically will be released on the streamer 45 days after their big-screen release. The company will use a “case-by-case” approach to determine when it will launch on HBO Max.
Here are some of the graphics from the Warner Bros. Discovery presentation:
- The differences between HBO Max and Discovery + according to WBD:
- Combined service launch dates by market:
- The brands and franchises of both services combined: