So… HBO Max. Discovery+. What do they have in common? A merger. If you weren’t aware, a recent merger of WB and Discovery (now Warner Bros. Discovery) took place at the beginning of the year. HBO Max is owned by the company, so decisions had to be made about how the merger was affecting the popular app. The internet went wild with speculation, theories, confusion, and pandemonium.
But that’s not why.
On August 2nd, we learned the HBO Max/DC film, Batgirl, was canned by WBD, $90 million dollars later, having already been finished. Additionally, 6 more WB/HBO Max movies disappeared from the app. But of course, streaming services ebb and flow — content’s always added or removed. However, fans thought it was weird that such a big move wasn’t announced. Was it because content was being cleared out on the beloved HBO Max, foreshadowing the end of the app as we know it?
So, in an effort to clear this up, the WBD earnings call for Q2 2022 was recorded live and broadcast on Twitter Spaces. Here’s what’s going on, officially.
1. Discovery+ and HBO Max will merge for multiple reasons
A combined version of HBO Max and Discovery+ is launching during the summer of 2023. The unnamed app is expected to have a technical benefit. WBD CEO, David Zaslav, states, “HBO Max has a competitive feature set, but it has had performance and customer issues.” As those who use the app know, HBO tends to not run smoothly when airing new episodes of big shows like Euphoria.
Zaslav says that D+’s build is more technically advanced, and that’s why it’ll be the app’s core. In addition, the collab will mean an array of content for streamers to choose from. While HBO provides throwback hits and boasts its own library of original content, it also offers animated options only available on its platform. Discovery+, on the other hand, focuses on unscripted and home-based content, like its Food Network and true crime hubs.
2. Most HBO content is safe for now (phew)
Don’t worry, HBO fans: Zaslav promises that HBO Max will not be clearing out its beloved library because of the super-app. Because, even though the app has minor issues with week-to-week juggernauts, audiences still applaud the service for its timeless classics and diverse, timely new content. The reception leads Zaslav to confirm that HBO Max is carving out its name as a brand of quality, and that can’t be ignored.
“We think that product is going to be superb,” Zaslav notes.
3. Structural lines have been drawn for the apps
But that’s not all. Zaslav confirms that as part of refining the services, the two will have specific focuses. You can check out the visual below, but for the most part, HBO Max will have a “male skew” and be the home of fandoms. Discovery+ will opt for a “female skew” and be the home of “genredoms.”
The company also laid out its plans for being a “global powerhouse,” as well as its “reporting structure.” With the former, WBD laid out what they believe to be two two’s most valuable brands, franchises, iconic series and characters, and international names.
With the latter, studios, networks, and direct-to-consumer (DTC) were outlined, as well as earnings for each segment in Q2.
A wealth of information after a week of anxiety, right? At least fans can rest assured that their favorite content is going to stay on the app a little longer.
Content like HBO’s Game of Thrones spin-off series. (Which, as you can see above, is different from HBO Max, which I was not aware of until recently).
Photos via Warner Bros.