The Warner/Discovery merger means big changes for HBO MAX

In April 2022, we reported on the closing of the Warner/Discovery merger. Now that things are starting to settle down, the newly combined company is pursuing an aggressive strategy to set direction, which Warner/Discovery+ (a.k.a. WBD) 2022 II quarterly report presentation. If you pay for HBO MAX, there are a few changes.

The overarching mission

In order to facilitate the merger, the WBD formulated the following mission objectives.

Creating quality content
Maximize the financial value of the Warner Bros and Discovery content libraries.
Run Warner and Discovery as one company.

Here are the steps WBD takes to support its mission.

Theatrical: The emphasis on theatrical film presentations was immediately renewed. Broadcasting is important, but it’s not the big moneymaker that movies generate.

River: Combining HBO MAX and Discovery+ into a single streaming service. This is expected to officially take place in 2023, and the goal is to reach 130 million subscribers by 2025. Magnolia Network content will land on HBO Max, while some original CNN programming will land on Discovery+. Note that plans for a separate CNN+ streaming service were canceled in April 2022.

Providing streaming consumer choice: WBD plans to offer an Ad-Free subscription, a lower-priced paid Ad-lite subscription and free ad-supported options for the combined HBO Max/Discovery+ service.

Tip: The name of the new combined streaming service, as well as exact pricing information, have not yet been determined. Also to be determined is how current HBO MAX and Discovery+ subscribers will be transferred to the new service. These details are expected to be made public at the end of 2022 Investor Day presentation.

Decisions made

So far, WBD has made the following decisions regarding the handling of theatrical and streaming content:

There are no more high-profile movies that are released day after day in theaters and on streaming or only streaming. The “streaming at all costs” strategy introduced in 2021 was a bad decision that did not generate the necessary revenue. This does not preclude short theatrical releases for selected films, but ensures that theatrical revenue is the highest priority.
Deletion of bad movies: Batgirl, Scoob 2, Wonder Twins, and some original HBO Max content that doesn’t meet Warner/Discovery’s new quality standards.
He is implementing a 10-year plan to revitalize DC, strengthen its core franchises (Batman, Superman, Wonderwoman, Aquaman) and carefully consider future entry into franchise properties that include not only DC but also other properties such as Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, etc.
Stay tuned…

As more details about Warner/Discovery’s HBO Max and Discovery+ streaming plans come to light, we’ll try to keep you updated via additions to this article or new articles as appropriate.

As previously mentioned, WBD is expected to reveal more details at its Investor Day presentation later in 2022.

Of course, you can bet that Netflix, Amazon, Apple and Disney will be watching WBD’s moves very closely.

Ad. Scroll to continue reading.

Related readings

What does the future hold for Netflix? (Updated)

Netflix will lose 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022 – and more than 1 million in the second quarter!

Does cutting the cord make sense financially?

Free TV cable cutting options

Leave a Comment