The launch of HBO Max’s and Discovery Plus merged single video streaming service will come earlier than initially planned.
Following better-than-expected progress the merger will be pushed forward to Spring 2023, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav announced earlier this week during an earnings call(Opens in a new window).
The so far unnamed platform had been due to launch in the US sometime next summer. It is then due to be rolled out in Latin American and European markets in 2024.
At the moment, HBO Max and Discovery + customers pay $14.99/month and $6.99/month for ad-free streaming or $9.99/month and $4.99/month for ad-supported viewing, respectively.
The merged service will see HBO shows such as Succession, Euphoria, and House of Dragons being offered under the same house as 90 Day Fiance and Fixer Upper.
On the earnings call, Warner Bros. President for global streaming and gaming Jean-Briac Perrette said(Opens in a new window): “HBO Max has a competitive feature set, but has had performance and customer issues. Discovery+ has best-in-class performance and consumer ratings, but more limited features. Our combined service will focus on delivering the best of both, market-leading features with world-class performance.”
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Warner Bros. Discovery has been hit with declining revenues, however, absorbing a $2.8 billion net loss(Opens in a new window) in the most recent quarter. The severe losses mean the company has made significant cuts to its streaming lineups, including the cancellation of Batgirl. During the earnings call, CEO Zaslav announced the company will be increasing its cost-cutting target to $3.5 billion(Opens in a new window) while continuing layoffs.
The news comes as Netflix launched its ad-supported version of its service this month. The modified service costs viewers $6.99 a month. The version also comes with cutbacks to video resolution which maxes out at 720p and a lack of offline viewing. Not all content is available either.
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