Following a day of handwringing concerning the future of HBO Max, spurred by the removal of some original titles from the streamers library, Warner Bros. Discovery executives said that the service remains a central section of its business. Our strategy would be to embrace and support and drive the incredible success that HBO Max is having, CEO David Zaslav said throughout a nearly two-hour conference call with investors Thursday.
To achieve that, Zaslav plans to mix HBO Max with sister streamer Discovery+ to create a fresh service which will launch next summer, developing a single home for programming as varied as 90 Day Fianc, Succession, and Justice League. The service, which will not yet have a name, is likely to attract at the very least 130 million subscribers within the next 3 years. (HBO Max and Discovery+ now have 92 million total subscribers.)
Warner Bros. Discovery can be exploring launching a free of charge, ad-supported service which will compliment the brand new streamer, Zaslav said. The business didn’t disclose just how much it plans to charge for the combined service.
Because the company prepares for the eventual merger of HBO Max and Discovery+, executives are going for a hard look at their content spending. In recent weeks, HBO Max quietly removed a small number of original and exclusive titles including HBO Max films An American Pickle and The Witches and short-lived HBO drama series Here and today and Vinyl that’ll be written off.
On Tuesday, HBO Max also scrapped plans release a a small number of films that could have already been exclusive to its platform, including Batwoman origin story Batgirl and animated sequel Scoob!: Holiday Haunt. Our focus will undoubtedly be on theatrical, Zaslav said, explaining the unusual decision to shelve the nearly completed Batgirl.
But as HBO Max loses some titles, it’s gaining others. On Thursday prior to the investor call, the streamer announced that it could then add unscripted shows from Chip and Joanna Gaines popular home renovation brand Magnolia Network, while Discovery+ said it could develop a hub for CNN programming like Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.
Zaslav explained that whenever it involves Warner Bros. Discoverys streaming offering, he really wants to concentrate on quality, not quantity. Its not just how much, its how good, he said, making certain to indicate that HBO and HBO Max content chief Casey Bloys recently signed a fresh five-year contract that keeps him with the business through the transition to 1 streaming service.
Though theres the opportunity that the brand new service will never be called HBO Max, the HBO brand will go on, streaming CEO JB Perrette confirmed on the decision, adding that HBO and the Max originals remains the unequivocal home of the greatest streaming television and remains the centerpiece of our combined streaming platform.