HBO Max, Discovery+ to merge into one service in summer 2023
UPI News Service, 08/04/2022
Warner Bros. Discovery announced Thursday that it will merge its HBO Max and Discovery+ platforms into a single streaming service.
The merger will take place in the summer of 2023, CEO David Zaslav announced during a second-quarter earnings call.
The media corporation did not provide further details such as what the new service will be called or subscription pricing.
JB Perette, CEO and president of global streaming and interactive at Warner Bros. Discovery, did say the company is initially focused on ad-supported and ad-free versions of the new streaming platform but would also explore "how to reach customers in the free, ad-supported space."
In the United States, HBO Max is currently available for $14.99 per month without ads and $9.99 a month with ads, while the ad-free version of Discovery+ costs $6.99 per month and $4.99 a month with ads.
The company's second-quarter earnings report showed that HBO Max and Discovery+ totaled a combined 92.1 million subscribers, up 1.7 million from 90.4 million the prior quarter.
AT&T spun off WarnerMedia and merged it with Discovery in May 2021, with Zaslav, then the CEO of Discovery, being selected to helm the new company when the merger was completed in April.
Zaslav pledged to investors that he would cut costs and find $3 billion in savings.
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Thursday's news came after the company announced earlier this week it would not release Batgirl, which was set to star Leslie Grace as the titular superhero alongside Michael Keaton reprising his role of Bruce Wayne/Batman, in theaters or on its HBO Max streaming platform.
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