Warner Bros. Discovery
has changed course on the future of its streaming services, saying it would keep Discovery+ as a stand-alone service.
Warner Bros. (ticker: WBD) previously announced it was combining streaming platforms HBO Max and Discovery+ into one service for subscribers, and launching this combined option in the spring. The Wall Street Journal, however, reported Wednesday that the entertainment company now plans to keep Discovery+ as its own streaming service, citing people familiar with the matter.
A person from Warner Bros., in an emailed statement to Barron’s, said the company’s “plan for the enhanced platform that will bring together HBO Max and Discovery+ content remains unchanged. In addition, we have decided to keep the lower-priced offering of Discovery+ in the U.S. marketplace.”
Instead of the combined service that had been rumored to be named Max, there will be a new platform that will include HBO Max content like “House of the Dragon,” and some Discovery+ content. But Discovery+ will remain as a stand-alone option. The Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said the company was making the move to avoid losing people who pay for Discovery+ and might not want to pay more for the combined option.
Warner Bros. management previously has expressed confidence in the combined streaming platform, which was a result of Warner Bros. and Discovery merging in the spring of 2022.
In Warner Bros. most recent earnings call, Chief Executive David Zaslav said that the company anticipated “the two content offerings work well together and when combined, should drive greater engagement, lower churn and higher customer lifetime value.”
Shares of Warner Bros. were down 2.3% Wednesday to $14.99. The stock has surged 58% this year amid excitement surrounding the combined streaming service.
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