HBO Max/Discovery+ Merger

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That's fine for you HBO folks but as a sub to Discovery+ at $6.99 I'm waiting to see what happens to us. There is nothing HBO offers that appeals to me, if it did I'd already be a sub, so if they bundle and force the HBO level pricing I'll drop it. Frankly I'm not convinced that merging the two streams into one service is a smart move but time will tell.
Likewise, I don't want to pay for Discovery+. I'm not old, but old enough to remember when Discovery wasn't trash.

I'd be happy if they keep them separate and offer a bundle option to merge the services for those who'd like that. Or ATT could feel free to provide both to me at no extra cost with Fiber.
 
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NashGuy

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Most likely they do a bundle like Hulu/ESPN/Disney Plus,
Companies can and do change their minds but, so far, WBD has repeatedly signaled and then confirmed that they plan to offer one single global mega-service by merging Discovery+ and HBO Max into a unified app.

 
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NashGuy

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Why do you think it is a lemon, 24 million subs is pretty good for a service that has only been here for 2 years.

Also, this, they are getting, roughly, $100 million a month, over a billion a year for a service that just shows reruns, all of their programming has already been on linear channels, so already paid for, the money they get from plus is a bonus.

Now I have no desire to get it, no interest at all.

Poor choice of words on my part to call it a lemon. I was rather going for the imagery of squeezing the last bit of juice out of a fruit before throwing it away. By which I mean, rather than going ahead and giving away D+ for free to their HBO Max subs, they're going to try to continue getting a little extra revenue from it all the way up until they actually "throw away" D+ and merge it into HBO Max.

I find it interesting that the offer they mailed me and other HBO Max subs gives us the option to add the basic D+ plan (with ads) for just an extra $99c per month. There's also the option to add the ad-free plan for an extra $3.99. I'm sure this will give them some useful data as to how many folks on each of the HBO Max plans -- $10 vs. $15 -- think D+ is worth paying *something* extra for, even if only a buck a month.
 
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NashGuy

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Likewise, I don't want to pay for Discovery+. I'm not old, but old enough to remember when Discovery wasn't trash.
Sure, there's plenty of TLC-style reality crap on there, but you might be surprised at some of the quality content that Discovery+ offers. There are the BBC nature docs and also some Science channel stuff. Some of the new D+ Originals are worthwhile docs or docuseries too.

Having had it free for a month awhile back, I probably won't even take up their offer to add it to HBO Max for an extra 99c/mo for up to 4 months. But if it got packaged into HBO Max, all ad-free, for an extra buck, I'd be happy with that.

The Great Rebundling is happening whether you want it or not. The economics of scale demand it. Disney+ will swallow Hulu and also end up with a bit of ESPN's most popular sports, such as Monday Night Football. And over the course of this decade, we're going to see *all* of the content on the various linear broadcast and cable channels become available at the same time inside their related direct-to-consumer apps.

By maybe 2026, buying The Max (or whatever they call HBO Max by then) will essentially just mean buying the entirety of WBD's TV content, you'll just be getting it directly from them rather than through a cable TV operator that commingles their content/channels along with content/channels from other companies too. Actually, by that point in time, it wouldn't surprise me if HBO reverts back to its roots and becomes an optional premium add-on to The Max's base tier. Imagine if today you could get the non-HBO part of HBO Max with ads for $5, then add the ad-free HBO content for an extra $5 (total of $10), then remove the ads from the non-HBO content for another $5 (total of $15).
 
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Yespage

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I think they have a base cost. It doesn't cost much money to distribute existing programming. So splitting the non-HBO programming from HBO doesn't make sense, as the HBO programming is what needs to get subsidized as they produce new content. The other content is bonus stuff they already own, so they provide as 'filler' or the main course for some.
 
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RedPenguin

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What I don't get is, if Discovery+ is "going away" so to speak, why did they even bother mid-May adding the $5/$7 tiers to The Roku Channel, especially after HBO yanked it's Hub there?

It just seems very confusing overall as I know internationally, Discovery+ is extremely popular by itself.

It it possible it's a situation like Disney+ and Hulu, where they keep swearing they are merging but nothing happens?

I wionder if it could just be a "series of hubs" like in HBOMAX it asks if you want to add Discovery and vice-versa.
 
Bruce

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I wonder if it could just be a "series of hubs" like in HBOMAX it asks if you want to add Discovery and vice-versa.
I hope it is that, because I will say nope.
 
mackie99

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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.

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.
 
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NashGuy

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Zaslav is cutting the hell out of the Warner side, except for its two core brands, HBO and CNN. But I think most of the non-HBO stuff in HBO Max is going away.

I kinda think that HBO will just become an optional add-on to Discovery+, maybe an extra $10/mo. And it looks like they're going to go back to selling HBO as an add-on to Prime Video too.
 
Don in CT

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Zaslav is cutting the hell out of the Warner side, except for its two core brands, HBO and CNN. But I think most of the non-HBO stuff in HBO Max is going away.

I kinda think that HBO will just become an optional add-on to Discovery+, maybe an extra $10/mo. And it looks like they're going to go back to selling HBO as an add-on to Prime Video too.
Killing off the HBO content is one way to destroy the company.

Sadly the entertainment that once was a part of Discovery has gone away, or got dumbed down too far.
 
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NashGuy

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Killing off the HBO content is one way to destroy the company.

Sadly the entertainment that once was a part of Discovery has gone away, or got dumbed down too far.
Well, the good news is that they said yesterday they're going to "dramatically" increase spending on HBO content. And Zaslav has gotten HBO chief Casey Bloys locked down in a new 5-year contract and is trying to do the same with his key team members. So I do think he understands the value of HBO. It's basically going to become the sole brand they use for scripted TV and recent WB theatrical movies.

If this plays out the way I think it will, we'll actually see an expansion of HBO. But that could mean that the HBO brand gets somewhat compromised as they produce more hours and maybe try to reach new (e.g. younger, more female) audiences with the brand. HBO tends to skew middle-aged and older, male, college-educated, and coastal/metropolitan. But we have already seen them succeed in stretching that with young-appeal shows like Game of Thrones and Euphoria.

The Max Originals brand was originally conceived to try to complement the HBO Originals line by appealing to additional demographics and tastes, to round out the service and to give HBO cable viewers a specific reason to fire up the app as opposed to just watching through their cable provider UI. But I now think the Max branding and the Max Originals moniker are going to go away. Don't know it for a fact, by any means, but that's the feel I'm getting. But some of those Max Originals -- Hacks, for instance -- will likely see additional seasons as HBO Originals. (And honestly, Hacks always seemed very much like an HBO Original to me, moreso than The Flight Attendant or Peacemaker.)

I think they're trying to rebuild the entire DC effort, with a long-term plan for DC-branded movies and series. So I wouldn't be surprised to see any or all of the current DC-branded Max Originals get cancelled or move off of the forthcoming combined HBO/Discovery service. I think a LOT of stuff is going to disappear and will either get licensed out to others (e.g. Prime Video) and/or show up on WBD's planned free ad-supported app that will compete against Pluto TV, Tubi, and Freevee.
 
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RedPenguin

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I kinda think that HBO will just become an optional add-on to Discovery+, maybe an extra $10/mo. And it looks like they're going to go back to selling HBO as an add-on to Prime Video too.

See this is where I am very confused based on how most talk online.

In so many online discussion places, they act like "The pice will skyrocket" type of talk.

Yet at the same time, WarnerDiscovery is doing odd things if they are trying to go with high prices. (E.g. Discovery+ in Roku & HBO in Amazon).

I can't obviously prove this, but I have a gut feeling that they know the Discovery+ $4.99/$6.99 is insanely popular in the US and International and they admitted in previous years brings in tons of money. So I keep thinking they will somehow offer tiers like you said, as why would they want to lose millions of "cheap" customers? Going to MAX prices for everybody is a heck of a jump.

Also, I keep hearing from international people that I know, that Discovery+ is pushing the low price tiers hard still in their countries, like they aren't expecting to just yank them both.
 
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Bruce

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Just read that HBO is getting rid of the 45 days after theater premiere, movies will still be on sale at Vudu/itunes and the likes, but will not show up on HBO until 90 days later.


Warner Bros. Discovery is now adopting a new approach that’s a hybrid of the competition’s approaches. Starting with “Elvis” on August 9th, the film will be released to rent or purchase on PVOD platforms at the 45-day mark.

However, a same-day SVOD release has been scrapped. Instead, it will become available on HBO Max at a considerably later date which has yet to be specified. One scenario is the more traditional 90-day mark which would be a late September release and would fit Baz Luhrmann’s wish that the movie not be available on HBO Max until the Fall.


 
KAB

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Just read that HBO is getting rid of the 45 days after theater premiere, movies will still be on sale at Vudu/itunes and the likes, but will not show up on HBO until 90 days later.


Warner Bros. Discovery is now adopting a new approach that’s a hybrid of the competition’s approaches. Starting with “Elvis” on August 9th, the film will be released to rent or purchase on PVOD platforms at the 45-day mark.

However, a same-day SVOD release has been scrapped. Instead, it will become available on HBO Max at a considerably later date which has yet to be specified. One scenario is the more traditional 90-day mark which would be a late September release and would fit Baz Luhrmann’s wish that the movie not be available on HBO Max until the Fall.


Sounds like a reason not to sub on a regular basis. So far, everything I've read indicates they are stipping it down and will probably be losing signigicant subs in short time.
 
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NashGuy

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See this is where I am very confused based on how most talk online.

In so many online discussion places, they act like "The pice will skyrocket" type of talk.

Yet at the same time, WarnerDiscovery is doing odd things if they are trying to go with high prices. (E.g. Discovery+ in Roku & HBO in Amazon).

I can't obviously prove this, but I have a gut feeling that they know the Discovery+ $4.99/$6.99 is insanely popular in the US and International and they admitted in previous years brings in tons of money. So I keep thinking they will somehow offer tiers like you said, as why would they want to lose millions of "cheap" customers? Going to MAX prices for everybody is a heck of a jump.

Also, I keep hearing from international people that I know, that Discovery+ is pushing the low price tiers hard still in their countries, like they aren't expecting to just yank them both.
Well, I haven't read anything to suggest that HBO will be an optional add-on to Discovery+ rather than a non-optional core part of the forthcoming "HBO Discovery" or whatever they call it. But it wouldn't surprise me if it was optional, in order to preserve that low entry-level price point of Discovery+.

I could see them marketing it as "Discovery+ HBO" with the following pricing:

Discovery+ with ads: $4.99/mo (same as now)
Discovery+ ad-free: $7.99/mo ($1/mo more than now)
optional HBO (always ad-free) add-on: $7.99/mo (can be added to either base plan)

We already know that Discovery+ is gaining a new CNN content hub and I can imagine it also getting a "Kids & Family" hub that features both scripted and non-scripted content, including Looney Tunes, Cartoon Network stuff, Sesame Street, etc. So that extra stuff could easily justify upping the ad-free version price by $1. (And it always struck me as underpriced anyhow to only have a $2 upcharge to remove the ads when you compare it to the pricing differences in ad vs. ad-free plans for Hulu, Paramount+, Peacock, etc.)
 
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RedPenguin

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I just hate to get a total sticker shock after being a $4.99 DSCP member to all the sudden be like "Ad-Lite is $15 for you now!".

If it was something like Discovery+ & Paramount Plus where they said $10 will get you both (that technically would be the price for both with ads right now), that I could see.

But something like $15, would be a triple price jump for me.
 
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NashGuy

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I just hate to get a total sticker shock after being a $4.99 DSCP member to all the sudden be like "Ad-Lite is $15 for you now!".

If it was something like Discovery+ & Paramount Plus where they said $10 will get you both (that technically would be the price for both with ads right now), that I could see.

But something like $15, would be a triple price jump for me.
Nah, I'd be shocked if they do that. It would be dead in the water if they tried to roll out an ad-supported version of HBO Discovery at $15/mo. Assuming that HBO is a non-optional part of the combined service (and based on the rumor that they're considering the name "HBO Discovery" for the new service, it sounds like it will be), then they'll probably keep $9.99/mo as the price of the ad-lite plan. I *guess* Zaslav would still keep the HBO content free of ads on that plan, but who knows, maybe not. As for the upper tier completely free of ads, I do think they'll nudge the price up a bit, to maybe $15.99/mo.

Think of it this way: take HBO Max, and get rid of all the non-HBO stuff except some of those new Max Originals (which will be rebranded as HBO Originals). And in exchange for all that stuff you lose (lots of old TV shows, movies and cartoons), you get added most (but probably not all) of the content from Discovery+. And they'll call it HBO Discovery.

As for all the HBO Max content that's lost, look for it to turn up on WBD's forthcoming free ad-supported service (which I'm guessing will have particular appeal to kids, teens and young adults) and/or competing services like Netflix, Prime Video, Pluto TV, Tubi, etc.
 
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RedPenguin

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I'm somewhat impressed that it took so long for free ad-supported services to be available.

I'd say back around 2010-2012, more so when Hulu had it's free tier and Crackle, I imagined tons of linear & VOD free with ads services.

Strangely it seemed like it took until like 2019 but more so during 2020-now to really take-off and people/companies to realize it was a solid idea.

The main reason I thought about it was, I knew there were tons of older/lesser-known shows that people would like to see streaming but not feel like paying a streaming service for. (The main piece of evidence was shows that home media sales were not great.)

Also various articles claim that the number of users to free services along with many folks nature to binge watch, the ad revenue is insane right now.

I even found an article from Discovery+ themselves that admitted "We see a higher revenue per user when they pick our ad-lite plan than our ad-free plan."
 

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