Under its new ownership, Warner Bros. Discovery will combine the offerings of HBO Max and the relatively short-lived Discovery Plus into one streaming service expected to debut in the U.S. next summer. Warner Bros. Discovery made the announcement during its second-quarter earnings report.
The single stream will first roll out in the U.S. and Latin America, with Europe getting the combined service in early 2024. The new, yet-to-be-named offering will come to Asia-Pacific and other markets later in 2024.
The new HBO Max/Discovery Plus will be available in three tiers: as a free, ad-supported TV service, also known as FAST; an ad-supported pay tier and a premium tier that won’t have commercials. The FAST tier won’t offer the same level of content that subscribers will be able to access in the upper two tiers, said JB Perrette, president and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery streaming, during the earnings call.
Warner Bros. Discovery is consolidating across the board as part of a promised effort to cut $3 billion in costs. As a result, the company shut down CNN Plus not long after it launched and is putting original CNN content on Discovery Plus for now. It’s also moving select content from Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Network to HBO Max, including this October’s Fixer Upper in which the Gaines renovate a historic castle that’s located in the heart of their hometown of Waco, Texas.
Between the company’s direct-to-consumer products, Warner Bros. Discovery added 1.7 million global subscribers in the second quarter to hit 92.1 million. According to Perrette, about four million subscribers overlap between the two offerings. The company projects it will hit 130 million subscribers by 2025.
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