HBO Max and Discovery+ have revealed a merged streaming app called Max that will combine both services into a single subscription.
- Warner Brothers Discovery CEO David Zaslav hosted a press event on Wednesday to discuss the future of HBO Max and his company’s ongoing merger with Discovery Channel.
- MAX is a new app that will combine content from both HBO Max and Discovery+ and be released on May 23, offering tiered subscription options similar to HBO Max at $10 per month (ad-lite), $16 per month (ad-free). and $20 per month (ultimate plan).
- The company hopes the combined streaming service will increase from 96.1 million subscribers to 130 million by 2025.
- Warner Bros. Discovery stock dropped 5.8% after the presentation.
Why It’s News
The $43-billion merger of Warner Brothers and Discovery has been a long time coming, particularly for Warner Brothers. This merger is coming in the aftermath of the failed AT&T-Warner Brothers merger that resulted in the entire catalog of 2021 theatrical films being released on the streaming app during the pandemic.
The new MAX app comes after months of stress from streaming companies regarding the future of the film industry, as the popularity of streaming has cooled in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. As we previously reported, no major streaming platform is winning the streaming wars. Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Paramount+, and HBO Max all saw double-digit losses last year, and companies like Amazon Prime have pivoted to prioritizing theatrical releases to great success.
Warner CEO Zaslav says a major focus of the new network will be children’s entertainment and non-scripted television. He says that the company’s image has kept it from growing and that he wants to provide greater offerings for a larger audience. He has also announced new television shows based on reliable franchises like Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Batman, Gremlins, Big Bang Theory, The Conjuring, and True Detective.
“For the first time, we’re going to be able to put all the content together. We believe that that’s going to have positive impacts on engagement, on churn, on subscriber acquisition. So, all the way through that entire value driver tree, we believe we’ll see improvements,” says CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels.