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HBO Max and Discovery+ to Combine Following Merger

by Emily Nagle

Discovery+ and HBO Max will combine into a single streaming platform following the Warner Bros. Discovery merger.

This is a surprising, yet smart move – while companies like Disney have chosen to include streaming content from its other companies such as ESPN+ and Hulu in a bundle, combining all content into one place does seem to make more sense. With a plethora of content from Discovery and WarnerMedia in one convenient place, customers won’t need to manage as many subscriptions. As for the media companies, it truly eliminates competition.

In the meantime, the folks at Discovery and WarnerMedia have to decide exactly how they will consolidate their content into one place. Discovery CFO (and Warner Bros. Discovery’s future CFO) Gunnar Wiedenfels said in a statement that it may take a while to decide the most efficient and customer-friendly approach to this situation – HBO Max and Discovery+ boast more than 100 million subscribers combined, hailing from drastically different demographics.

“One of the most important items here is that we believe in a combined product as opposed to a bundle…We believe that the breadth and depth of this content offering is going to be a phenomenal consumer value proposition,” Wiedenfels explained. “The question is, in order to get to that point and do it in a way that’s actually a great user experience for our subscribers, that’s going to take some time. Again, that’s nothing that’s going to happen in weeks — hopefully not in years, but in several months — and we will start working on an interim solution in the meantime.”

Said interim solution may be a bundle until the new conglomerate figures out the best way to combine the two content fronts. Wiedenfels added that his vision for the new streaming service is one that is stronger than ever before, so it may take at least a few months to get situated.

Having been in talks since last summer, the long-awaited Warner Bros. Discovery merger is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022. Until then, HBO Max is available for $9.99/month with ads or $14.99/month ad-free, while Discovery+ goes for $4.99/month with ads, or $6.99/month commercial-free.