When Discovery bought Warner Bros. from AT&T to become the new media entity known as Warner Bros. Discovery, the purchase included HBO Max streaming service. But Discovery already had its own streaming service, Discovery+. Which meant that now that the new company exists, they’re essentially competing with themselves for potential subscribers who may only have a certain amount of dollars each month to spend on streaming.
It seemed inevitable that Warner Bros. Discovery wanted to combine the two services – and they will. The company announced during its earnings call today that it plans to join HBO Max and Discovery+ for a giant streaming service next summer. They have not yet revealed the name of the new app.
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said of the news “our streaming strategy has evolved over the last year and reflects the importance of rather than reliance on [streaming].” It appears to be a nod to recent moves to cut (or cancel entirely) original programming for HBO Max such as Batgirl and a Scooby-Doo movie, both of which were deep in production.
Whatever becomes of HBO Max and Discovery+, the new service will eventually also offer a free, ad-supported tier, the company also announced. HBO Max currently costs either $9.99 per month with ads or $14.99 per month without ads. Discovery+ costs $4.99 per month with ads or $6.99 per month for ad-free viewing.
A single service that combines HBO programming with Discovery’s reality fare—and ultimately comes free with ads—seems like a no-brainer and potentially a very serious competitor to apps like Netflix or Amazon’s Prime Video.
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