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HBO Max and Discovery Plus to combine into one streaming platform - report

By Kara Santos Published Mar 15, 2022 1:20 pm

HBO Max and Discovery Plus will be combined into one streaming platform.

As reported by Variety, Discovery, which is set to become Warner Bros. Discovery after its merger with AT&T’s WarnerMedia closes, confirmed its plans to combine its current streaming service with HBO Max, rather than offer the two platforms as a bundle.

The post-merger strategy plans to combine the two streamers were unveiled Monday (Mar. 14) during the Deutsche Bank 30th Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference.

Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels will serve as CFO of the newly combined Warner Bros. Discovery.

However, before the two services are combined, Wiedenfels said the first step during integration will be some form of bundling, while the new company figures out the best way to merge the two platforms.

“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 proposition,” Wiedenfels said.

“The question is, in order to get to that point and do it in a way that’s actually a great user experience for our subscribers, that’s going to take some time. Again, that’s nothing that’s going to happen in weeks—hopefully not in years, but in several months—and we will start working on an interim solution in the meantime. So, right out of the gate, we’re working on getting the bundling approach ready, maybe a single sign-on, maybe ingesting content into the other product, etc., so that we can start to get some benefits early on. But the main thrust is going to be harmonizing the technology platform. Building one very, very strong combined direct-to-consumer product and platform, that’s going to take a while.”

No details have been given regarding how much the combined streaming platform would eventually cost consumers, though Wiedenfels noted that Warner Bros. Discovery will introduce both ad-free and ad-lite products.

While the initial plans refer to HBO Max, the subscription US based video on demand service owned by AT&T's WarnerMedia, the merger will probably have an effect on HBO GO, the version of the streaming service available internationally including in the Philippines.

HBO Max is currently priced at $9.99 per month with ads and $14.99 a month as an ad-free service in the US.

HBO GO, which offers popular movies and TV shows, as well as its own roster of original content, is currently priced at P149 per month (which renews every month) in the Philippines.  Subscribers can also opt for a three-month plan for P299, while new subscribers can get a seven-day free trial period.

While not as popular as Netflix in the country, HBO GO gives subscribers a good amount of new Hollywood movies, usually right after their run in theaters, including recent blockbuster hits like Dune and The Matrix Resurrections.

In the US, Discovery Plus is priced at $4.99 per month to watch with commercials or $6.99/month ad-free. The streaming service is a fairly new player in the Philippines, having just launched last October 2021, with a subscription fee of just P129/month. 

Discovery Plus features shows and personalities from the Discovery Channel, TLC, HGTV, Food Network, Investigation Discovery, Asian Food Network, Travel Channel, Animal Planet, BBC, and History Channel.

Some shows on Discovery Plus include Master Chef Australia, Ride 'N Seek, Pawn Stars, Ghost Adventures, and more.

With so many streamers currently available, consolidating Discovery Plus and HBO Max under one platform sounds like a rare win for subscribers.