HBO Max, Discovery+ Merger To Bring Combined Service Platform
The HBO Max and Discovery+ premium streaming services are to be combined into a high-value direct-to-consumer experience following the completion of Discovery’s $43 billion merger with AT&T’s WarnerMedia.
Subscription streaming video platforms HBO Max and Discovery+ will be combined following Discovery gaining a $43 billion minority stake with majority control of AT&T’s WarnerMedia, under the new Warner Bros. Discovery company.
According to reports including from Variety Monday morning, the disclosure was made by Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels at a Deutsceh Bank Media, Internet & Telecom Conference.
The merger is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year and is to result in a combining of the HBO Max and Discovery+ service platforms under Discovery management. Wiedenfels is to become CFO of the combined operations.
The combined paid subscriber base of the two platforms is estimated to total around 100 million.
Wiednenfels reportedly said Discovery is still looking at exactly how the services would be combined, and how the subscription fee structure might change.
Currently, Discovery+ subscriptions run $4.99 per month with ads, $6.99 without ads. HBO Max runs $9.99 with ads, $14.99 without ads. Until a more definitive arrangement is determined, initial plans are to provide an interim solution with a single sign-in through which subscribers of each service can receive select content from the new platform.
Wiedenfels said the objective is to offer a combined product and not a service bundle.
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By Greg Tarr
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