HBO Max, Discovery Plus to merge into single platform

March 14, 2022, 3:42 PM UTC

HBO Max and Discovery Plus will be combined into a single streaming service once Discovery completes its merger with WarnerMedia.

Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels confirmed the move Monday at the Deutsche Bank 30th Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference. It was the first time the company has addressed the fate of the two services.

“One of the most important items here is that we believe in a combined product as opposed to a bundle,” said Wiedenfels. “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.”

It’s not just the content libraries of the two services that are vastly different. The technological backbone is as well, so an immediate fusion won’t be possible. But subscribers to one service could gain access to the other in the interim. Wiedenfels discussed the possibility of a bundling approach with a single sign-on for both services as a placeholder step.

What that will cost is still unclear. HBO Max customers pay $14.99 per month for an ad-free version of the streaming service (or $9.99 for a commercial version). Discovery Plus runs $6.99 and $4.99 per month for the two versions.

The $43 billion dollar deal was approved last Friday by Discovery shareholders. The companies are reportedly targeting a mid- to late-April close date on the deal.

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