The past few years have seen a myriad of streaming services launched — specifically Discovery+ and HBOMax, which launched within a year of each other. Now, it seems those two services will be combining as their parent companies, Discovery and AT&T’s WarnerMedia, merge to create Warner Bros. Discovery within the coming month.
Discovery+ was created to be a streaming hub for nonfiction content. The service is a collection of programming from channels like The Food Network, HGTV, Discovery, The History Channel, Animal Planet, Investigation Discovery, and more. Meanwhile, HBOMax was created to be the exclusive streaming home for all of WarnerMedia’s content. This includes HBO, DC films and shows, Studio Ghibli films, Sesame Street, and more.
When the merger of the parent companies was first announced, there was some speculation if the services would stay separate or merge as well, and now we have an answer. During the Deutsche Bank 30th Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference, current Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfelsand future Warner Bros. Discovery CFO, made the plan for the streaming services known:
“One of the most important items here is that we believe in a combined product as opposed to a bundle… We believe that the breadth and depth of this content offering is going to be a phenomenal consumer value proposition. The question is, in order to get to that point and do it in a way that’s actually a great user experience for our subscribers, that’s going to take some time. Again, that’s nothing that’s going to happen in weeks — hopefully not in years, but in several months — and we will start working on an interim solution in the meantime. So right out of the gate, we’re working on getting the bundling approach ready, maybe a single sign-on, maybe ingesting content into the other product, etc., so that we can start to get some benefits early on. But the main thrust is going to be harmonizing the technology platform. Building one very, very strong combined direct-to-consumer product and platform, that’s going to take a while.”
Essentially saying that while in the immediate future, consumers will have a bundling option for the two services, they hope to quickly integrate Discovery+ and HBOMax into one service. Although, there is no hard time frame of when the process will begin. The Discovery-WarnerMedia deal has yet to officially close. Friday will see an approval vote from Discovery’s shareholders. But once the merger is complete, Wiedenfels is said to be dedicated to combining the platforms quickly, saying:
“The combination could not make more sense than what we’re doing here. We have HBO Max, with a more premium, male-skewing positioning, and then you’ve got the the female-positioning on the Discovery side. You’ve got the daily engagement that people enjoy with Discovery content versus sort of the event-driven nature of the HBO Max content. Take that together, I have no doubt that we will be creating one of the most complete, sort of four quadrant, old-young-male-female products out there. And I’m really excited about it. I can’t wait to see the first combined direct-to-consumer metrics because, in theory, the acquisition power of HBO Max, combined with the retention power of the Discovery content I think is going to make for a blowout DTC product, and that should certainly drive very healthy revenue growth for years to come.”
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