Discovery Plus and HBO Max merge into one app

As part of the ongoing merger, Discovery+ and HBO Max are combining into a single app for their streaming programs and movies.

Discovery and Warner Media’s company merger moves a step forward, as Discovery+ and HBO Max combine into a single streaming app.

HBO Max and Discovery+ will be merged as part of the Discovery acquisition of Warner Media. (Images: Warner Bros. Discovery)

The $43 billion dollar merger of the two multimedia giants is one of the biggest developments in recent years. After a very mixed performance under AT&T, Warner Media had been struggling to keep up with its competition, particularly Disney and Marvel Studios.

What are the specifics of combining the Discovery+ and HBO Max? How will this affect subscribers and the future projects under both services? Check out the details below.

Discovery and Warner Media

The Discovery and Warner Media merger was recently approved by the shareholders and cleared of the government antitrust regulations. Once the process is finalized, the christened Warner Bros. Discovery will have CNN, HBO, and the Warner Bros. film and television arms, plus the infotainment, educational, and reality programming that became Discovery’s trademark.

Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels will serve as CFO for the merged Discovery and Warner Media.

As part of the changes, Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels will now serve as the CFO for the merged Warner Bros. Discovery company. Wiedenfels expressed his excitement for the revenue streams and synergies that Warner Bros. Discovery will be opening for its investors:

We’re ready to generate a significant amount of synergies. We’re very bullish on our ability to drive free cash flow and de-lever the company very quickly, and position us for sustained free cash flow growth for many years to come.

AT&T, the previous owner of Warner Media, will return its focus on broadband and wireless communication services.

Discovery+ and HBO Max

In a report by Variety, CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels spoke to the 30th Deutsch Bank Annual Media, Internet, and Telecom Conference of the plans to combine the two streaming platforms into a single service:

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.

The reasoning behind combining the two streaming services into one is to blend the subscriber acquisition and retention for an enhanced DTC (direct-to-consumer) experience. But before the two streaming services become a single app, Discovery+ and HBO Max will be offered as a bundle.

HBO Max and Discovery will be available as a bundle until a single streaming app is introduced.

Wiedenfels elaborated a bit on what this bundling will entail and why this was the approach they chose:

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.

The new Warner Bros. Discovery CFO continued by explaining that this was the best option for the short-term, benefiting the customer base:

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.

Bundling the two services is not unusual, as the Walt Disney Company does this already with Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. However, the specifics of this new bundle have not been released yet, including the pricing and how it will affect existing subscribers who have already paid for one or both services at full price. What we do know is that this will happen between April to May of this year.

Just getting started

One question that fans and subscribers of Discovery+ and HBO Max are asking is how the merger will affect the ongoing projects on both services. There are no official announcements, but there seems to be no major changes planned for now.

Discovery is rumored to be looking at the Warner Media revenue streams, including the DCEU Snyderverse content.

With the Discovery Plus and HBO Max streaming app, Synderverse fans have taken this as another sign of hope. The recent changes and delays to the DCEU theatrical releases hinted at some major shakeup while the merger of the two companies was being finalized.

In addition, news of Ben Affleck changing his mind about retiring from the Batman role after the Flash spread like wildfire. Soon after, the concept art was released for the abruptly cancelled solo Batman film that would star Affleck before Matt Reeves’s The Batman replaced it.

There are rumors and speculation that higher ups at Discovery are looking closely at the revenue streams of the DCEU. In response, the #RestoreTheSnyderverse fans have been enthusiastic with calling attention to the new Warner Bros. Discovery on social media.

While nothing has been confirmed, the success of James Gunn’s Peacemaker and the performance of The Batman will certainly open up possibilities for the future. And at the very least, the combined Discovery+ and HBO Max streaming platforms places the merged company in a better position with their competitors Disney+, Netflix, and Amazon Prime.

Discovery+ and HBO Max are currently available for download on Google Play and the App Store.

Geoff Borgonia
Geoffrey "Borgy" Borgonia is a veteran writer, artist, journalist, gamer, and entrepreneur based in the Philippines. When not contributing to some of the top pop culture sites on the planet, he spends the rest of his time running his business, practicing martial arts, working on and developing books, comics, and games. In his man-cave, his only luxury is sleep. Borgy on Linkedin.
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