HBO Max will be combined with Discovery + on one platform, and the series will not be a priority

After days of rumors and expectations that indicated Thursday evening, a conference was held with analysts from David ZaslavCEO of the new giant company Discover Warner Bros. Emerging from the union of the two companies to compete for market with The Walt Disney Company, it ended up providing little news but provided ideas about its future plans.

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In fact, the main novelty was already known and explained in March: HBO Max will be combined with Discovery + on a single platform. What’s new is that Zaslav has already set a date for this: the new platform will be launched in the US during the summer of 2023, and will arrive in Latin America in the fall, To Europe in early 2024And throughout that year for the rest of the world. The company plans for this new platform to reach 130 million subscribers in 2025. Currently, by adding HBO Max and Discovery+, they are adding up to 92 million subscribers, away from Netflix’s 220 million subscribers. The HBO Max brand has 76.8 million users in the United States, Europe and Latin America; While Discovery+ has about 24 million subscribers, most of them are in the US, explains Efe.

The truth is that no further details are given. and not even The name that this new platform will haveAnd the Amid rumors that HBO Max is about to disappear. In this regard, both Zaslav and the company’s head of broadcast strategy said, GB BeretThey avoided giving a direct answer: “We are looking at it and we will continue to look into it,” and made it clear that they did not want to dispense with the brand because it was “one of the jewels in the company’s crown,” as reported by El País. But at the same time, they raised suspicion by making it clear that he would lose content, that his name would not be the main one, and that in his attempt to prioritize “user experience and quality” it would place the technology by Discovery+ and not by HBO Max.

Without giving specific details about the content, Zaslav already offers that they are already working with the idea of ​​submitting a file A cheaper subscription, even for free, versus adswhich is the same thing that Netflix will implement next year.

A month ago, we already explained on verTele what was going on with HBO Max, and why the titles disappeared from their catalog due to Cost savings for the new company. An analysis was performed after Warner Bros. The new Discovery has canceled all European production of HBO Max except for Spain, another indication that the new giant’s priority will not be aired.

Priority in film production, first in theaters

This change in priorities was confirmed Thursday at a conference with analysts. Zaslav literally realized the “change in strategy” that would lead the company to this Giving priority to cinematic and theatrical releases. “Our strategy has changed in the past year and reflects the importance of streaming, but not the reliance on it,” the CEO explained, explaining that films will be shown in theaters and then hit the platform, although they are opened to shorten the duration. The time between launch and another.

A new strategy is economically summed up in the phrase ‘The economic model is much stronger’ and that this contrasts with Warner’s former CEO, Jason Keeler, who during the pandemic chose to release blockbuster films (Sand dunesAnd the Godzilla vs. Kong also Matrix 4) both in theaters and on HBO Max. Zaslav was outspoken in asserting that there was “no sense or economic value” to put expensive films directly on the platforms. Without mentioning it at any time, example Top Gun: Maverick He flew over the conference.

David Zaslav also emphasized quality over quantity. And without blood work cancel the movie bat girl Although it was ready for a premiere and cost $90 million, explained, it served as an example with two very telling phrases: “Our job is to protect the DC brand and that’s what we’re going to do” and “No, we’re going to shoot a movie unless we believe it.” “There was no economic model for bat girl It will give benefits in the flow,” settled.

A 10-year plan to turn DC into its own Marvel universe

exactly capital universe It would be a great bet for the new company. Not only did Zaslav express his confidence in his upcoming films Black Adam, Shazam s flash (denying rumors that it would also be canceled due to the scandals of the protagonist, Ezra Miller), but they announced that they had prepared The plan for the next ten years for the development of “DC Studios”. In Marvel Cinematic Universe style, a comparison not even the CEO himself has avoided by saying that they aspire to a model that is “very similar” to their DC characters.

To realize this new strategy, Zaslav stressed that all upcoming films in the DC universe would be shown in cinemas, and subsequently broadcast.

And the serial?

It looks like this new order of priority will affect HBO Max content associated with the series. Zaslav hardly spoke in his lecture about such productions, and instead focused almost exclusively on cinematic interest. So It seems that the production chain is taking a back seat (which will not disappear), and even more so if we take into account that the CEO has indicated the good acceptance that Discovery content has with its programs, which can be seen in Spain mainly through DMax.

In fact, Zaslav also indicated that two of HBO Max’s main content so far, cartoons and children’s content, will also be removed from the new platform. Not a simple decision, considering that Warner Bros. is the company of the legend Looney Tunes.

The merger of HBO Max and Discovery+ will create a service that will unite the catalogs of WarnerMedia and Discovery, a new conglomerate that owns important brands such as HBO, CNN or Warner Bros. Or Eurosport or DC Comics, among many others.

The union of both services comes at a time when the streaming market is starting to show its first signs of saturation. Netflix accumulates two consecutive quarters with customer losses; The CNN+ platform shut down its service a month after it debuted (already under a Warner Bros. Discovery restructuring) and other bets like Apple TV+ aren’t finished taking off despite having a million investments.


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