HBO Max, Discovery+ to Merge Into Single Streaming Platform Starting in Summer 2023

Figuring that the whole of a combined HBO Max-Discovery+ is greater than its streaming parts, Warner Bros. Discovery announced a timeline for the two services to be fused together.

HBO Max and Discovery+ will launch in the U.S. as a single service in the summer of 2023, according to JB Perrette, CEO and president, global streaming and interactive, Warner Bros. Discovery, speaking on the company’s Q2 earnings call.

The company did not announce what the new brand name for the single, merged service will be, nor did execs discuss pricing for the unified streamer. Warner Bros. Discovery is initially focused on the ad-supported and ad-free versions of the combined HBO Max/Discovery+, Perrette said, but is also “exploring how to reach customers in the free, ad-supported space.”

In the second quarter, WBD’s HBO Max, HBO and Discovery+ subscribers combined were 92.1 million, up 1.7 million from 90.4 million the prior quarter. That’s up 22% 75.8 million on a pro-forma basis versus a year earlier.

Currently, HBO Max is available for $14.99/month without ads and $9.99/month with ads in the U.S. Discovery+ is priced at $6.99/month without ads and $4.99/month with ads.

The company previously announced intentions to combine the two flagship streaming platforms — HBO Max from the legacy WarnerMedia (spun off from AT&T) and Discovery’s Discovery+. Ahead of the close of the deal forming Warner Bros. Discovery, CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels in March broadly sketched out a strategy to combine the streamers, saying that initially it would sell the pair as a bundle before fully integrating them.

The merged HBO Max-Discovery+ will smash together thousands of hours of programming, a disparate slate spanning scripted, reality and documentary content — and will look a bit like a mini cable TV bundle. WBD took a step Thursday toward unifying HBO Max and Discovery+ on the content side, announcing that Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Network programming will be coming to HBO Max this September (while remaining on Discovery+).

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