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Four months after Warner Bros. and Discovery merged into one media conglomerate, the company has big news about their streaming services, HBO Max and Discover+. Why are the two streaming services merging, what content will be available on the new platform, and when can you expect the change? Read on below to find out.
Warner Bros. Discovery’s plan
Last Thursday, during a quarterly earnings call, Warner Bros. Discovery’s chief executive David Zaslav announced that they have plans to combine HBO Max and Discovery+ into one streaming service. Since Warner Bros. and Discovery merged back in April, the company has been making big changes to compete with the rest of the streaming industry, including canceling the CNN+ streaming service and removing many movies and shows from the platforms.
This new merger is part of Warner Bros. Discovery’s new ten-year strategic plan, which also includes a new plan for the DC Comics universe and a renewed focus on theatrical releases of their films.
Competition from other streaming services
Why is the company merging the two services? One primary reason is to keep up with the rest of the highly competitive streaming industry, one of the fastest growing markets of the last decade. As of this year, streaming giant Netflix reported 220 million paying subscribers, and Disney+ had 138 million subscribers.
Warner Bros. Discovery has stated that this merger is part of a plan to have 130 million total paying subscribers by 2025, which would be an increase of over 40% from their current 92 million subscribers between the two platforms.
Will all my favorite movies and shows still be available?
With the new streaming service coming soon, many current HBO Max and Discovery+ customers are wondering whether the shows and movies they like will still be available. This will go on an individual basis, with some content being removed but much more staying on the platform.
Warner Bros. Discovery seems to be using the merger as a chance to refresh its catalog and get rid of some old content that’s rarely watched. Some customers have complained about the sudden removal of the content they enjoy, but the most popular content on each platform will be staying.
What will the new streaming service be called?
This is a recent announcement, so the company hasn’t yet announced a name for the new streaming service. There’s a chance that the service will just keep the name of either HBO Max or Discovery+ to keep the brand recognition, but more than likely it will be rebranded under a completely new name.
The company also hasn’t yet announced a pricing structure for the new streaming service or whether your HBO Max or Discovery+ subscription will carry over to the new platform.
When will the change take place?
There hasn’t been an exact date yet announced for the merger, but current plans say the merger will happen in the U.S. next summer, in Latin America that fall, and in Europe and Asia Pacific in 2024.