The headline of Warner Bros. Discovery’s earnings name was one thing a number of people dreaded: HBO Max and Discovery+ are merging into a brand new service. The corporate will roll out this new providing — which doesn’t have a reputation but — for U.S.-based shoppers in the summertime of 2023, with LatAm growth later that yr, and the European market launch in 2024.
The agency goals to merge totally different choices like acclaimed scripted reveals equivalent to “Succession,” “Euphoria,” and the upcoming “Home of Dragons” from HBO Max and unscripted reveals equivalent to “90 Day Fiancé” and “Fixer Higher,” beneath one service.
Warner Bros. Discovery will begin this merger course of by cross-posting content material on each providers. Discovery+ will begin displaying CNN originals beginning this month beneath a brand new tab, and HBO Max will acquire some actuality reveals from Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Community beginning September 30.
The corporate additionally admitted that each HBO Max and Discovery had shortcomings from a product perspective, with the purpose of the brand new product being to handle these points.
HBO Max app has a infamous status of being a buggy app with many points: the app freeze and crashing on Roku; unable to recollect subtitle settings on Apple TV; and content material being inaccessible at occasions. The HBO Max’s app rankings — 3.7 on the Google Play Retailer and simply 2.8 on the Apple App Retailer — are reflective of consumers experiencing a number of points. In an interview with Protocol in April, HBO Max’s product head Sarah Lyons admitted that the corporate hurried out its apps regardless of figuring out they had been buggy in 2020.
However, the Discovery+ app’s efficiency is nice, however it doesn’t have options like offline viewing and parental controls.
“HBO Max has a aggressive characteristic set, however has had efficiency and buyer points. Discovery+ has best-in-class efficiency and client rankings, however extra restricted options. Our mixed service will concentrate on delivering the very best of each, market-leading options with world-class efficiency,” Jean-Briac Perrette, the agency’s CEO and president for world streaming and gaming, stated on the earnings name.
The corporate talked about that other than the merger of present providers, it’s additionally exploring an ad-supported free providing for individuals who don’t need to pay subscription cash. The agency will reveal extra particulars about this plan at its investor day later this yr. Notably, rival streaming firm Netflix can even introduce an ad-supported model of its service subsequent yr.
Over the previous few days, HBO Max has been dealing with a number of criticism for silently flattening titles from its service and canceling high-budget tasks like “Batgirl”.
The announcement of the HBO Max-Discovery+ merger confirms a report by The Wrap a few main streaming technique shakeup at Warner Bros. Discovery which may end in layoffs days earlier than the earnings outcome. Nevertheless, the corporate didn’t point out any people-related restructuring throughout its earnings name. Now we have requested the corporate for a remark, and we’ll replace the story if we hear again.
Aside from the large app merge, Warner Bros. Discovery introduced that it has 92 million mixed subscribers — 76.8 million from HBO and HBO Max and 24 million from Discovery+. The agency registered $9.8 billion in income, effectively in need of analysts’ estimate of $11.91 billion.