HBO Max, Discovery+ to merge into single streaming service

Given recent actions taken by Warner Bros. Discovery, it would be understandable to be concerned about the HBO Max streaming service. During the company’s second-quarter earnings call, it was announced that HBO Max would be merging with Discovery+, with the combined streaming service set to launch in the U.S. in the summer of 2023.

JB Perrette, CEO and president of global streaming and interactive at Warner Bros. Discovery, said that the HBO Max/Discovery+ streaming service will combine the best elements of both. “At the end of the day, putting all the content together was the only way we saw to make this a viable business,” Perrette explained, adding that the combined service will include “something for everyone in the household.” The company didn’t announce a new brand name for the service or what it will cost, but HBO Max currently costs $14.99 a month without ads and $9.99 a month with ads in the U.S., while Discovery+ is priced at $6.99 a month without ads and $4.99 a month with ads.

Perrette said HBO Max has had “performance and customer” issues but offers a rich set of features, while Discovery+ has a “more robust underlying delivery capability” despite its more limited features. He added that “there’s much work to be done over the coming months” in getting the combined HBO Max and Discovery streaming service in order. “There’s lots to do, we’re determined to get it right, which will take a bit of time,” Perrette said. The primary focus of the rollout will be in markets where HBO Max has already launched. “We plan to launch the service sequentially starting in the US next summer,” Perrette said. “Latin America will follow later in the year. European markets with HBO Max will follow in early ‘24 with additional launches and key Asia Pacific territories and some new European markets coming later in 2024.” Warner Bros. Discovery expects to have 130 million streaming subscribers across the globe by 2025.

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