HBO Max's dying can be exaggerated — Discovery Plus merger coming summer season 2023 - Tom's e-book

if you love HBO Max like we do, you've got probably been quite wired. This week has seen a nightmare condition emerge for the HBO Max and Discovery Plus merger. but in the Warner Bros. Discovery Q2 salary name nowadays (Thursday, Aug. four), we acquired cause of measured optimism.

Editor's word: This story has been updated per the earnings call.

sure, if you haven't heard, the invention acquisition of WarnerMedia from AT&T, which ended in the mouthful of a new name Warner Bros. Discovery, supposed we're going to be getting one provider that mixes both. Or so we thought.

HBO Max got admired placement within the Warner Bros. Discovery Q2 salary name

After WBD CEO and president David Zaslav spoke to "combining the rich legacies" of Warner Bros. and Discovery right into a single company, he reiterated the intent to "convey HBO Max and Discovery Plus" right into a single providing. but the bigger moments got here from J.B. Perrette, CEO and President of world Streaming and games. 

whereas Zaslav Perrette each defined that we will need to stay up for the investors Day adventure deliberate for the end of the yr, Perrette and his slides pushed HBO Max far harder than you could expect given the considerations about HBO Max being shrunk all the way down to a simple HBO.

A slide previews a Global Product with HBO Max and Discovery Plus

(picture credit: Warner Bros. Discovery)

A slide for a global Product showed colossal HBO Max and Discovery Plus logos, with bullets under declaring they will live below a "single global brand." interestingly adequate, the service will have both "On demand & reside" capabilities, as well as "ad-free, ad-lite and ad-best alternate options." There can be distinctive tiers, which curiously will add activities.

in a while, one exec pointed out they would be "doubling down" on HBO, another reason to believe HBO Max has a strong future.

A chart analyzing the schedule for the roll out of the global product that combines HBO Max and Discovery Plus

(photograph credit score: Warner Bros. Discovery)

Then, another slide confirmed WBD's schedule for both capabilities, explaining that the U.S. will get the service first, in summer 2023. it is going to debut in Latin the united states that fall, in Europe in early 2024 and in the Asia-Pacific markets within the center of 2024.

the entire favourite HBO Max branding placement during this presentation means that the HBO Max manufacturer and repair will live on into this new provider — even though or not it's under the invention Plus branding.

Explaining the HBO Max issues

So, why have been we involved about HBO Max (which we nevertheless trust is the most excellent streaming carrier)? in the course of a lot of chaos on Tuesday (August 2), with HBO Max's Batgirl movie being canceled after Warner put $90 million into it and the news that six HBO Max usual films have disappeared from the service, different footwear begun to drop.

Tony Maglio at IndieWire (opens in new tab) then mentioned there were extra cuts to come, and or not it's all on account of the are looking to reduce fees as they merge HBO Max and Discovery Plus. The question, of course is how are they going to merge these two features? 

Then, on Wednesday afternoon, The Wrap (opens in new tab) dropped a shocking new record declaring "HBO Max building is expected to be peculiarly challenging hit with layoffs with two sources placing the quantity of dev body of workers cuts at 70%." An insider advised The Wrap that HBO's "personnel are 'all freaking out' and that 'all i do know is that they're folding HBO Max into HBO, and there should be redundancies.'" 

some of that might nonetheless take place, but we've got obtained less confidence in that document than ever.

just before this, all we had heard became a rumor from beyond The Trailer YouTuber Grace Randolph. Randolph is credited as insider by means of some (opens in new tab), whereas James Gunn (opens in new tab) does not seem to have confidence her, to place it courteously. And her rumor now appears more authentic than ever.

The nightmare scenario for HBO Max enthusiasts

forward of Warner Bros. Discovery's Q2 salary on Thursday (August four), Randolph tweeted (opens in new tab) a list of ideas that had been "RUMOR re the #WBD presentation." None of those ideas had been presented. 

Randolph claimed HBO Max would become a part of Discovery Plus, "probably as #HBO tab" and that the brand new provider can be "disposing of #HBOMax scripted, general streaming specializing in unscripted."

The new HBO Max app, tested on an Apple TV 4K

Peacemaker is as at a loss for words as we are. (photo credit score: Tom's e-book/Henry T. Casey)

this would truly force loyal HBO Max subscribers to buy into a brand new (probably extra expensive) streaming provider to maintain getting entry to the indicates and movies they like, while probably getting less of that content material they choose.

This additionally does not communicate to where the licensed HBO Max content — seasons of friends, the Studio Ghibli videos and a lot more — would wind up. inner that new "HBO" tab? considering that HBO Max's branding is strong at WBD, it seems like that stands out as the moniker on one of these tab.

HBO Max becomes a bit in a new app?

What would take place subsequent? The Wrap costs a Hollywood agent with advantage of the plans as announcing "HBO is very protected. If this turned into 'game of Thrones,' Casey Bloys gained."

yes, HBO Max just re-invested in the man behind its content: Casey Bloys, HBO and HBO Max's chief content material officer. a variety (opens in new tab) record from July 2022 states that Bloys signed a new 5-year contract with Warner Bros. Discovery. but simply think like a value-chopping executive and view his cut up titles. Why have him run each HBO and HBO Max's content, when he may simply run one?

Cristin Milioti as Hazel Green and Billy Magnussen as Byron Gogol in Made for Love season 2

Made For Love, a recently axed HBO Max exhibit, starred Cristin Milioti as Hazel eco-friendly and Billy Magnussen as Byron Gogol. (photograph credit score: Beth Dubber/HBO Max)

So it appears like Bloys is coming back to run a single group with a likely smaller price range. WBD has been swinging the cancelation axe on a lot of scripted programming, together with TNT's Snowpiercer, TBS' The last O.G. and HBO Max's Made For Love.

Some HBO Max suggests could stick round under the HBO company, as Bloys has publicly observed The Flight Attendant season three is basically feasible. We're hoping Peacemaker, Harley Quinn, Our Flag capability death and Hacks are among the shows that continue to exist. 

After the presentation we're greater more likely to agree with that the HBO Max brand continues to be effective.

Outlook: What happens subsequent

The huge question that Warner Bros. Discovery professionals are doubtless toying with is "which streaming provider is greater critical?" Now that Warner Bros. Discovery has made its Q2 presentation, we get the impression that it values both streaming service totally.

evaluating HBO Max and Discovery Plus is de facto like comparing apples and pineapples. the former is predominantly made of scripted programming, and the latter is ordinarily unscripted content. 


(graphic credit: Shutterstock)

on the end of the day, here is Discovery's company now. And it's hard to ascertain them wanting to make their carrier a tab internal a person else's app. That stated, we'd a good deal quite see a Discovery Plus hub in HBO Max than a HBO tab within the Discovery Plus app. HBO Max looks like a company that could healthy Discovery interior of it, correct?

As we knew, a single, new streaming carrier might be coming to include both Discovery Plus and HBO Max. The question about which aspect "wins" may be argued, but for now, it feels like HBO Max is a manufacturer with a future. but here's all optics. What matters greater is how much this new provider prices (a price hike looks inevitable).

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