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Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Warner Bros Discovery Confirms New Streaming Service

The entertainment giant, the result of the merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery, is reconfiguring the business and will now also combine the HBO Max and Discovery+ services.

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Declan Foster
Declan Foster
I'm Declan Foster, and I write about information technology and politics. I'm certified in cybersecurity and networks.
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The streaming ecosystem is changing, and Warner Bros Discovery is preparing changes to its platforms to adapt to the new times.

The company said Thursday that it would merge the HBO Max streaming service with Discovery+ into a single platform, combining WarnerMedia’s dramas, comedies, and movies with Discovery’s reality shows and other shows.

“HBO Max has a competitive feature set but has had performance and customer issues,” said Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, stating that Discovery Plus has a better technology platform, which would now become the core of the new service that will combine the content of HBO Max with the content and technology of Discovery Plus.

“We think the product is going to be excellent,” Zaslav added, after assuring that the company would not embark on a wave of HBO Max cancellations. Zaslav acknowledged that HBO Max had become a brand specifically associated with quality. However, it’s not yet clear what Warner Bros. Discovery will call the new combined service.

The decision comes at a key time for streaming services, which face fierce competition, slowing subscriber growth, and high inflation hitting populations in key markets.

In light of these changes, Warner Bros. Discovery is also exploring the possibility of an ad-supported free plan. It should be remembered that Netflix, the current leader in the sector, lost almost a million subscribers during the year’s second quarter.

It has been exploring new options to reduce its rates and includes ads (for which it allied with Microsoft). Currently, Warner Bros Discovery estimates that it has 92 million subscribers between HBO MAX and Discovery+. With this movement, the company expects to add 25 million additional users.

The new platform will debut in mid-2023 in the United States and is also expected to arrive in Latin America next year.

Warner Bros Discovery reports lower revenue and profits

On Thursday, Warner Bros Discovery presented its financial results for the second quarter of 2022, which were below analyst forecasts.

The newly merged company reported a second-quarter net loss of $3.4 billion and a slight decline in revenue to $9.8 billion. The company said that the net loss includes about $2 billion of intangible write-downs, about $1 billion of restructuring and other charges, and $983 million of transaction and integration expenses.

The media giant was forged by the $43bn merger of DiscoveryAT&T’sT&T’s WarnerMedia.

After these figures, the share of Warner Bros Discovery depreciates 8.47% and trades at 16.00 dollars in extended operations.

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