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.

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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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