HBO Max and Discovery, which now lie under the same roof; have caused a bit of a shockwave in the entertainment sector by cutting programming and movies.
Warner Bros. Discovery executives indicated a new package combining HBO Max and Discovery+ will arrive in 2023. 39 Latin American countries will join the U.S. later this year. Europe, except the U.K. and Germany, will start in 2024, followed by Asia-Pacific and additional markets. Some markets may see a faster launch.
Later this year, investors will learn more.
JB Perrette, CEO and President, Global Streaming and Games; remarked, “We have a lot to do.” “Both of our products have flaws. HBO Max has competitive features but performance and customer difficulties. Discovery Plus provides best-in-class performance; but fewer features. Our integrated service will focus on both.”
The merged service expects 130 million members by 2025, up 40 million from now. (The earnings report revealed 92.1 million subscribers.)
A free, ad-supported version will join the ad-free and ad-lite alternatives, executives added. Content on “FAST” will be different from the flagship service, officials added.
Extending AT&T agreements. HBO will likely remain part of AT&T’s internet and cellphone services; though details weren’t given. AT&T controlled Warner Media before joining Discovery.
On the entertainment side, recent decisions that cancelled some current shows and killed others before they launched — Batgirl, for example — were acknowledged; but that won’t comfort fans who just lost their favorite show or were looking forward to a movie. CNN+ was cancelled a week after the Warner Bros. Discovery acquisition.
David Zaslav CEO of Warner remarked, “We want to produce high-quality films”. We’ve restructured. DC will have a 10-year plan. We’ll also emphasise quality. We won’t release films before they’re ready.”
Expect a return to traditional release schedules; with a renewed emphasis on theatres and streaming taking a back seat.