Warner Bros. Discovery has confirmed that its two streaming services HBO Max and Discovery+ will merge starting in 2023 in the Americas and 2024 elsewhere.
WarnerMedia and Discovery merged in April 2022, and the new company will merge its streaming services into one unified offering starting next year. Here is the rollout plan.
The global rollout plan for the new, combined streaming service. Photo: Warner Bros. Discovery
Cost savings plan
Ahead of the launch, Warner Bros. Discovery has implemented a cost savings plan that involves axing Batgirl, Wonder Twins and Scoob: Holiday Haunt – no theatrical or streaming release. Batgirl was almost finished with $90 million poured in.
HBO Max is also removing some of its own original productions.
CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav, was responsible for turning Discovery into a reality and sports brand. He confirmed that the new combined streaming service will be built on the Discovery+ infrastructure.
As such, HBO Max subscribers should prepare for significant changes.
- "HBO Max has a competitive feature set, but it has had performance and customer issues," argued David Zaslav.
New theatrical strategy
HBO Max is no longer releasing new movies simultaneously in theaters and online but has shifted to a 45-day exclusive theatrical window. In the future, Warner Bros. Discovery will fully embrace theatrical.
- "We will fully embrace theatrical," said Zazlov. "We have a different view on the wisdom of releasing direct-to-streaming films, and we have taken some aggressive steps to course-correct the previous strategy."
The company has yet to announce pricing and the name of the new streaming service.
- Source: Warner Bros. Discovery earnings