Mail merge

Discovery reveals plans to merge with HBO Max to form single streamer after WarnerMedia merger

Discovery has revealed plans to merge its Discovery+ streaming service with HBO Max to form a single platform after an upcoming merger with HBO parent company WarnerMedia – but won’t say whether subscription prices will rise.

The network, which will become Warner Bros. Discovery by next month, on Monday confirmed plans to combine the two streaming services into a single service, rather than offering both platforms as a package.

Discovery+ is known for its documentaries and factual reality shows, including the Chip and Joanna Gaines series Fixer Upper, while HBO is famous for its high-end dramas and comedies, including the reboot of Sex and the City And Just Like That. .

Discovery+ currently costs $4.99 per month with ads, or $6.99 per month without, while HBO Max charges $9.99. for a service with ads, or $14.99 for ad-free streaming.

Discovery Chief Financial Officer Gunnar Wiedenfels declined to discuss whether the overall package would result in a price increase, opting instead to discuss possible ways to “bundle” the two services.

The Discovery+ streaming service logo displayed on a smartphone in the Brooklyn borough of New York, U.S., Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020

HBO Max is set to merge with Discovery to form a single streaming platform after the upcoming merger with WarnerMedia for a total of 100 million subscribers

HBO Max is set to merge with Discovery to form a single streaming platform after the upcoming merger with WarnerMedia for a total of 100 million subscribers

“One of the most important things here is that we believe in a combined product as opposed to a bundle…We think the breadth and depth of this content offering is going to be a phenomenal value proposition for the consumer. “, said Wiedenfels.

“The question is, to get to that point and do it in a way that’s actually a great user experience for our subscribers, it’s going to take a while.” Again, nothing will happen in weeks – hopefully not years, but months – and we will start working on an interim solution in the meantime.

“So right off the bat, we’re working on preparing for the aggregation approach, maybe single sign-on, maybe ingesting content into the other product, etc., so we can start getting benefits right from the start,” he added.

“But the main focus will be on harmonizing the technology platform. Building a very, very solid direct-to-consumer combined product and platform is going to take some time.

However, on Monday, Wiedenfels refrained from saying how much the combined streaming platform would cost consumers, although he said Warner Bros. Discovery will provide both ad-free and ad-lite options.

Right now, Discovery+ costs $4.99 per month with ads or $6.99 without ads, which is the bulk of Discovery’s streaming subtotal.

The company had reported 22 million customers worldwide by the end of last year.

Meanwhile, HBO Max and HBO ended 2021 with a combined total of 73.8 million subscribers worldwide.

Chip and Joanna Gaines are the best-known faces of the Discovery network, thanks to their home improvement shows

Chip and Joanna Gaines are the best-known faces of the Discovery network, thanks to their home improvement shows

HBO Max is best known for its brilliant dramas, including the reboot of Sex and the City And Just Like that, whose stars Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon are pictured in Manhattan during the summer of 2021

HBO Max is best known for its brilliant dramas, including the reboot of Sex and the City And Just Like that, whose stars Kristin Davis, Sarah Jessica Parker and Cynthia Nixon are pictured in Manhattan during the summer of 2021

Discovery shareholders voted on Friday to approve the media company's $43 billion merger with WarnerMedia.  Discovery CEO David Zaslav is seen above

Discovery shareholders voted on Friday to approve the media company’s $43 billion merger with WarnerMedia. Discovery CEO David Zaslav is seen above

The platform is currently priced at $9.99 per month with ads and $14.99 per month as an ad-free service.

The news comes just days after Discovery shareholders voted on Friday to approve the media company’s $43 billion merger with WarnerMedia, bringing the deal one step closer to completion after the subsidiary’s messy scandals resolved. WarnerMedia, CNN.

The outcome was all but assured, as two of Discovery’s main investors, John C. Malone and Advance/Newhouse, agreed to vote their shares in favor of the merger. Together, they represent 43% of Discovery’s voting shares.

In May, AT&T announced it would spin off WarnerMedia, whose assets include HBO, CNN and studio Warner Bros., and merge it with Discovery.

Puck media reporter Dylan Byers reported that CNN boss Jeff Zucker and his senior lieutenant, Allison Gollus, were to take on leadership positions at the new company.