CEO and President of Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) David Zaslav has confirmed the merger of HBO Max and Discovery+, bringing the brands together for one cohesive streaming service, according to ComicBook. Via CNBC, the merged platform’s anticipated name–Max–is being vetted by the company’s lawyers, according to individuals that are familiar with the matter.
It is true that ‘Max’ may be the frontrunner for the new merger name, but executives have not yet made a final decision on whether ‘Max’ will be chosen.
WBD moved up its planned United States launch of the combined HBO Max-Discovery+ streaming platforms to spring 2023, a quarter ahead of what it had previously been aiming for, Zaslav commented on the earnings of the media company last month on a conference call, according to Variety.
“At the end of the day, putting all the content together was the only way we saw to make this a viable business,” explained president and CEO of Global Streaming and Games at Warner Bros. Discovery JB Perrette this past summer when the combination plans were first disclosed. “Bringing HBO Max and Discovery+ together is aimed at cutting churn so there’s something for everyone in the household.”
According to CNBC, WBD is trying to reform through a series of changes and cost cuts. The company is quarreling with a heavy load of debt and it is figuring out how to make a profitable streaming business, as opposed to pursuing subscribers while spending heavily on content.
Commercial-free monthly subscriptions to HBO Max and Discovery+ cost $14.99 and $6.99, respectively. They both also offer cheaper ad-supported tiers.
In addition to the merger of HBO Max and Discovery+, Zaslav said WBD will also be “aggressively attacking” the low-end streaming market with its own free, ad-supported streaming television (FAST) offering to launch sometime in 2023, according to Variety.
“As a company with the largest film and TV library in the industry, we have a unique opportunity to increase our addressable market and drive real value, and we plan to move quickly,” declared Zaslav.
Stay tuned for more updates on the HBO Max-Discovery+ merger.