HBO Max and Discovery+ May Be Shuttered As Seperate Services
The upcoming merger between Warner Media and Discovery Networks will eventually lead to one app featuring the content from both services in one place. While we do not know what that app will be called Discovery CEO said in a story from Next TV said that changes are coming o both companies as a cost-saving measure that will reduce redundancies and solidify the content under one uniform platform.
At this point, there are still two major apps. HBO Max and Discovery+. The two services address considerably different kinds of content and audiences though there is some overlap as far as reality TV and documentary-style programming. Both services offer ad-free and supported versions of their apps meaning it should not be difficult to combine offerings in into level and premium level tiers. If the subscribers from both Discovery and HBO at this time were combined it would be an offering with 96 million subscribers, which would still put it behind Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime streaming, but put it in the upper echelon of services overall, with room to grow.
“Right out of the gate, we’re working on getting the bundling approach ready. But the main thrust is going to be harmonizing the technology platforms, building one very strong combined direct-to-consumer product and platform, and that’s going to take a while,” Wiedenfels said. “A lot of the cost-saving is actually going to come out of cost avoidance,” Wiedenfels added. “Right now we’re running two completely separate, direct-to-consumer technology stacks of marketing operations. We’re spending roughly $6 billion for technology and marketing between HBO Max and Discovery Plus. Clearly, once we have successfully migrated those technology stacks in Q1, there is going to be tremendous opportunity to reduce costs.”
This move would be a very different approach to offering multiple brands than Disney, which to this point maintains three separate streaming apps for Hulu, ESPN+ and Disney+. The company allows users to get a discounted price when getting all three services, but Disney+ customers have no obligation to become Hulu customers. At the same time though the company did bundle in Disney+ and ESPN+ to Hulu’s live TV service accompanied by a small raise in the price.
No moves are expected until the first quarter of 2023, if they happen at all. The merger between the companies is expected to go ahead soon.