Warner Bros. Discovery is currently developing a free streaming platform tagged WBTV. The platform will reportedly allow the company to compete with services, like Netflix and Disney Plus, with outsized market shares.
This update comes courtesy of Bloomberg, which published an in-depth review of the state of the streaming industry. In the same publication, the media company revealed that some of the biggest media companies are backtracking some of their moves from a few years ago.
The article used Disney as an example, which pulled its content licensing rights from streamers like Netflix a few years back, but is now open to selling these rights to third parties.
Warner Media towed a similar line with the former chief, Jason Kilar, restricting moves by the heads of the company’s TV and animation divisions to license some of their content to streaming platforms like Netflix. However, it's become far more accommodating since the appointment of David Zaslav as the new chief. For instance, reports emerged last December that the company was negotiating with Amazon to develop DC animated projects for Prime Video.
By the way, WBTV is only Warner Bros. Discovery’s latest attempt to provide numerous options to its audiences following the announcement it will retain Discovery Plus as a standalone streaming service, despite the long-term plan of merging it with the pricier HBO Max platform. However, the platform will be entering an industry that is currently led by Fox’s Tubi and includes Amazon's FreeVee, Paramount's Pluto, and Comcast's Xumo. According to the same report, Netflix is also exploring the same idea and could launch a free streaming service of its own.
With all the new players in the free ad-supported streaming services arena, there will certainly be lots of competition for audiences and marketing spending in the coming years. Regardless of how the war shapes up, it appears fans will benefit either way.
By the way, there is currently no indication of which movies and television series Warner Bros. Discovery will move to WBTV when it goes live. Nevertheless, fans are better off keeping their expectations in check as the company will almost certainly not provide some of its most prized content, like House of the Dragon and The Last of Us, for free.