The stock market and overall earnings reports can get really confusing for those who are not tied up in the machinations of the financial industry or otherwise corporate culture. But there are two competing headlines surrounding Warner Bros Discovery (owner of HBO, Max, Discovery+ and a whole family of cable channels). The story is that the streaming division has posted a profit of 50 million dollars in the first quarter of 2023 in the face of the company overall losing money. In Laymen’s terms, mergers are messy. And they involve one company picking up the pieces of another mess and hoping it can all be blended together in a way that makes the whole stronger in the end. And there were a lot of pieces to put back to together at Warner Media after it changed ownership for the second time in a relatively short period for a major media company, having previously been bought by AT&T.
On the streaming side of things the end result of the merger is the odd combination of properties that will result in the launch/Rebrand the will be known as “Max”. It is a combo of HBO Max and Discovery+ content that will exist alongside a standalone Discovery+ app so that the audience that primarily loves the reality content and home shows from Discovery’s core brands can still access their favorites without overpaying in order to get accesss HBO content.
“We’ve come through some major restructurings and have repositioned our businesses with greater precision and focus. And we see a number of positive proof points emerging, with DTC perhaps the most prominent,” Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said in a statement. “We made a meaningful turn this quarter with $50 million in segment EBITDA and 1.6 million net adds, and we feel great about the trajectory we are on. In fact, we now expect our U.S. DTC business to be profitable for 2023 — a year ahead of our guidance.”
Max will be launching May 23.