After nine months since we learned of the mega merger between Warnermedia and Discovery at Warner Bros. Discovery, we are already beginning to know how this is going to affect both the organization chart and the viewer level. The answer was predictable: HBO Max and Discovery + will be combined into a single service.
When? Well, not in the short term (it does not seem that in 2022) but we will have to look more at 2023 from now on. This has been confirmed Gunnar Wiedenfels, CFO of Discovery, at a conference organized by Deustche Bank. This is, in fact, the first measure that has been made public about what the ecosystem of the entertainment giant will be like after the merger.
First a bundlethen a single service
According to the executive, it will not be all at once but first they will offer a kind of package (such as Disney + with Hulu in the United States) for in a few months to become a fully combined service. One pack (bundle) that, in his words, does not fit with what they understand as a good user experience:
“One of the biggest issues here is that we believe in a combo product rather than a pack. We believe the breadth and depth of this offering is going to be a phenomenal value proposition for the consumer. The thing is, in terms of getting there and doing it in a way that’s actually a great user experience for our subscribers, that’s going to take time. Again, it’s not something that’s going to happen for weeks—hopefully not years, but several months—and we’ll start working on a temporary fix in the meantime. So right now we’re working on having this ready-made pack approach, maybe a single sign-on, maybe putting content into the other product, etc. so we can start making profits soon. But the main thing is to harmonize the technological platform. Building a very, very solid direct-to-consumer product and platform, that’s going to take time.”
Right now both companies are in the middle of the merger process, which will be completed in the middle of next April. Let us remember that this has been valued at around 39 million euros and, after which, Warner Bros. Discovery will have a catalog of more than two hundred thousand hours of series, movies and documentaries and a range of channels ranging from HBO to Eurosport through Discovery Channel, DMax, Cartoon Network, TNT, TBS, TCM, TLC, CNN and many more.
“The combination couldn’t make more sense with what we do here. We have HBO Max, with a more premium, male-oriented position, and you have the female positioning on the Discovery side. You have to have the daily engagement that people have with Discovery content versus the eventual nature of HBO Max content. Put them together, I have no doubt that we will be creating one of the most complete products, with the four quadrants “old-young-male-female”, there is. I’m really excited about it. I can’t wait to see the first combined direct-to-consumer metrics because, in theory, the acquisition power of HBO Max, combined with the content retention power of Discovery, I think it’s going to be a huge hit, and that should drive a very healthy revenue growth in the coming years.
There is still no more information about this merger and how it is iIt will be implemented in the different territories and countries where both platforms have a presence. In Spain, Discovery + costs about 3.99 euros per month or 35.99 euros per year; meanwhile, HBO Max is priced at 8.99 euros per month or 69.99 euros per year.