Warner Bros. Discovery to unify HBO Max, Discovery Plus companies

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Warner Bros. Discovery will merge the HBO Max and Discovery Plus services into a single streaming platform, as part of its plan to reach 130 million paid subscribers by 2025 in a highly competitive market.

The streaming merger, announced Thursday by the newly formed media conglomerate’s chief executive, David Zaslav, during the quarterly earnings call, means that Warner Bros. properties. like the Harry Potter series and the sitcom “Friends” will be available alongside Discovery shows like “Deadest Catch” and “Worst Cooks in America.” “Warner Bros. Discovery will also develop a 10-year plan for its DC Comics series that includes Superman and Wonder Woman, similar to what Disney did with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Zaslav said.

Jean-Briac Perrette, Worldwide Director of Streaming at Warner Bros. Discovery said the HBO Max and Discovery Plus merger aims to cut subscriber losses with a broad offering that has “something for everyone in the family.” The company also suggested the idea of ​​a free streaming service that would be supported by ads.

The company plans to launch its unified streaming service in the United States next summer, then in Latin America later that year. Europe and Asia Pacific will follow in 2024.

Warner Bros. 2025 goals. Discovery’s 130 million paid subscribers will be more than 40% more than the 92 million combined subscribers it has on HBO Max and Discovery Plus. Netflix said last month it had 220 million paid subscribers worldwide. Disney Plus said in May that it has about 138 million subscribers globally.

Warner Bros. Discovery will aim to make the new streaming service profitable in the United States by 2024 and for its global streaming segment to generate $1 billion in revenue by 2025, Perrette said. No name or pricing system for the new service has been announced.

For the entertainment industry, a move by HBO Max is causing extreme discomfort

Warner Bros. Discovery was formed in April, when the WarnerMedia unit of AT&T and Discovery completed its merger and started with several $55 billion in debt. As Zaslav’s team looks to compete with the likes of Netflix and Disney and aim for profit, it has also shed some legacy projects – like when it pulled the plug. CNN Plus in Aprilless than a month after service was rendered.

On Thursday’s earnings call, Zaslav also reaffirmed that Warner Bros. Discovery will make “a strategic shift” from releasing movies directly to streaming, saying the approach makes no longer-term financial sense than releasing the film to theaters. “The idea of ​​expensive movies going live, we couldn’t find an economic case for it,” he said.

Those comments came after an investor asked why the company canceled the issuance “Bat girl.” The $90 million movie — with Leslie Grace in the lead role and featuring Michael Keaton as Batman more than 30 years after he first put on the film — was boxed with “Wonder Twins” and “Scoob! : Holiday Haunt” for Discovery by Warner Bros. new strategy.

Cancellation could also allow for potential tax breaks, according to one Diversity reportand to the middle complain from HBO Max users that certain shows have been abruptly removed from the service.

“Our focus will be on the stage,” said Zaslav. “And when we brought theatrical movies to HBO Max, we found them to be significantly more valuable.”

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