Last year, WarnerMedia and Discovery revealed their plans to merge their respective companies into a new entity called Warner Bros. Discovery. That imminent deal will bring two of the biggest streaming apps, HBO Max and Discovery+, under the same banner. However, the two apps won’t be separate forever. Via MediaPost, Gunnar Wiedenfels, Discovery’s chief financial officer, confirmed for the first time that HBO Max and Discovery+ will be merged together. But first, both apps will be available as a bundle.
According to Wiedenfels, the combined app will bring together the largely male-driven audience of HBO Max with the “female positioning” of Discovery+. He added that the combined app would be “one of the most complete, sort of four-quadrant, old-young-male-female products out there,” before noting that the resulting direct-to-consumer subscriptions would likely “drive very healthy revenue growth for years to come.”
However, Wiedenfels added a more cautious note about how long it will take to make a combined app that retains a “great consumer experience.” The CFO also said “hopefully not years,” but he didn’t rule out that possibility.
“The direct-to-consumer business is obviously further along now than we had four years ago,” added Wiedenfels. “There’s a greater risk. You want to get it right … 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.”
There is also the question about what the combined app would cost, or the price of a combined bundle. Discovery+ currently runs for $5 a month with ads, and $7 without. HBO Max also has an ad-supported option for $10 a month, or $15 a month to go ad-free.
Because Discovery’s stockholders have already approved the deal, the merger with WarnerMedia is expected to close next month.
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