Discovery to combine its Discovery+ with WarnerMedia's HBO Max | Inquirer Entertainment

Discovery to combine its Discovery+ with WarnerMedia’s HBO Max

/ 12:45 PM March 15, 2022
Toy figures of people are seen in front of the displayed HBO Max logo, in this illustration

Illustration taken Jan. 20, 2022. Image: Reuters/Dado Ruvic

Discovery Inc. chief financial officer Gunnar Wiedenfels on Monday provided the most concrete details to date about the media company’s plans to combine its Discovery+ streaming service with HBO Max once the acquisition of WarnerMedia closes.

Wiedenfels said the services would unite to create a more broadly appealing consumer product, with HBO Max’s more “male skewing” scripted series complementing Discovery’s reality shows, with their heavily female viewership.

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“The acquisition power of HBO Max, combined with the retention power of the Discovery content, I think, is going to make for a blowout DTC (direct-to-consumer) product,” Wiedenfels told the Deutsche Bank Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference, using the industry’s term for streaming.

The melding of the two services, following the completion of Discovery’s $43 billion acquisition of AT&T’s WarnerMedia in a deal announced in May 2021, had long been anticipated.

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Wiedenfels said the company would need to “harmonize” the separate technology platforms to offer a single streaming product, with more than 200,000 hours of movies and television episodes. There will be an ad-free service and a less expensive, ad-supported tier.

The deal, on track to close in the second quarter, last month passed the United States Department of Justice’s antitrust review, clearing another key hurdle toward closing.

Discovery+ has 22 million subscribers, and HBO Max, together with its HBO television network, has 73.8 million subscribers. JB

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TAGS: AT&T, Discovery, HBO Max, streaming, WarnerMedia
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