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HBO Max and Discovery Plus to merge into one streaming service

Hbo Max Sign In Fire
(Image credit: Keegan Prosser / Android Central)

Discovery has confirmed plans to combine Discovery+ and HBO Max into one service, according to Variety. This will follow after Discovery’s merger with AT&T’s WarnerMedia closes and the company becomes Warner Bros. Discovery. 

Discovery’s CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels confirmed the future merged service during Deutsche Bank’s 30th annual Media, Internet & Telecom conference, and noted that the company was in the process of making preparations for doing so. 

Variety notes this will be the first time the company has revealed any plans of what it plans to do since the announcement of the merger. 

Wiedenfels did note that before the two services are combined, there will be some form of bundling that will take place first before the company figures out a 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 are going to be a phenomenal consumer value proposition,” Wiedenfels said during the conference. 

“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.”

Currently, Discovery+ costs $4.99 per month with ads or $6.99 without ads. HBO Max costs $9.99 per month with ads and $14.99 without ads. Wiedenfels did not indicate what a new service or bundled service would cost on the Best Android phones, but he did indicate that there would be ad and ad-free options, according to Variety.  

The $43 billion mergers between WarnerMedia and Discovery was announced last year in May and is expected to close early in the second quarter of this year. 

“The combination could not make more sense than what we’re doing here,” Wiedenfels said. “We have HBO Max, with a more premium, male-skewing positioning, and then you’ve got the female-positioning on the Discovery side. You’ve got the daily engagement that people enjoy with Discovery content versus sort of the event-driven nature of the HBO Max content. Take that together, I have no doubt that we will be creating one of the most complete, sort of four-quadrant, old-young-male-female products out there.”

Shruti Shekar
Shruti Shekar

Shruti Shekar is Android Central's senior reporter and also the second Canadian on the team. She was born in India, brought up in Singapore, but now lives in Toronto and couldn't be happier. She started her journalism career as a political reporter in Ottawa, Canada's capital, and then made her foray into tech journalism at MobileSyrup and most recently at Yahoo Finance Canada. When work isn't on her mind, she loves working out, reading thrillers, watching the Raptors, and planning what she's going to eat the next day.