It was only a question of time, but the official announcement has finally arrived. As Warner Bros. Discovery is about to be created when the AT&T merger finalizes with Warner Media, it seems that HBO Max and Discovery+ will be fused into one service rather than Disney’s multi-platform bundle strategy. Gunnar Wiedenfels, who will be the CFO of Warner Bros. Discovery, shared the following insights into their approach during the Deutsche Gank 30th Annual Media Internet & Telecom Conference:
One of the most important items here is that we believe in a combined product as opposed to a bundle… We believe that the breadth and depth of this content offering is going to be a phenomenal consumer value propositionGunnar Wiedenfels
He also highlighted why they aren’t rushing this concept and want to give it some time to figure out how best to approach it.
The direct-to-consumer business is obviously further along now than what we had four years ago. There’s a greater risk, you want to get that right. Between the two direct-to-consumer products, by the time we close, close to 100 million people are going to be affected as we make those changes. So that will need some very, very detailed and disciplined planningGunnar Wiedensfels
This change won’t happen overnight, so bundling will still be available early on as they try to figure out how to merge the platforms. It’s unclear if they’ll stick to the HBO Max or Discovery+ branding, as they may take a different approach. The services are currently available with an ad-supported and ad-free variant that is priced differently. So, we might have to wait for some time before we get a clearer vision of
what the streaming future has in store for HBO Max and Discovery+.