MOVIE NEWS – The decision reflects concerns that some Discovery+ subscribers don’t want to switch to the more expensive platform. Warner Bros. Discovery said it intends to offer streaming options at different price points.
Warner Bros. Discovery, the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery, Inc. in 2022, has ushered in major changes, with the DC Cinematic Universe undergoing a major overhaul, CEO Dave Zaslav reducing streaming, increasing the priority of cinema exclusivity, and the cancellation and removal of more HBO Maxos content. Early on, there was also talk of HBO Max and Discovery+, the two streaming platforms, giving way to a single, large service. Well, according to the latest information, that’s not happening, or not completely happening, meaning that Max is definitely going, there will be a larger platform offering Discovery content, but Discovery+ will remain.
The Wall Street Journal reported, citing insider sources, that Warner Bros. Discovery will continue to keep Discovery+ as a standalone streaming service. That said, the original plan to create a larger, all-inclusive platform remains unchanged, except that Discovery+ will not be liquidated or merged with Max. It is said that this is also in the interests of users, as the streaming market is overcrowded and there are so many services that it needs to be streamlined. The new plan is that HBO Max’s existing and future content will go to the larger platform, plus most Discovery+ shows, educational films and series will be available on this yet-to-be-named streaming service.
But why then is Discovery+ going and HBO Max not? According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the management would consider it risky to liquidate the former, given that it currently has more than 20 million users who might not pay the obviously higher price (monthly fee) for the combined, larger platform. The latter, by the way, is built on the foundations laid by Max, so probably only the name and the offerings will change in substance besides the price. By the way, in dollar terms, Discovery+ costs $6.99 per month, $4.99 per month for the ad-supported package, while HBO Max costs $15.99/month in the US with no ads, $9.99/month with ads. So that’s why Discovery+ will remain standalone, and also because its cost of ownership is low compared to HBO Max, TWSJ reported.
The Wall Street Journal also reports that Warner Bros. Discovery plans to launch a completely free, but ad-filled streaming service in 2023 in order to capture an even wider user base in the streaming war. It is expected to offer Warner Bros. content, as well as previous series and shows from HBO and Discovery.
Source: Wall Street Journal