The streaming wars continue to escalate as plans to consolidate Discovery+ and HBO Max into one streaming platform were announced today (March 14th). As reported by Variety, Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels has revealed that the two company’s flagship apps will initially be offered as a bundle with the goal of integrating them into a single service “in several months.”
“One of the most important items here is that we believe in a combined product as opposed to a bundle,” Wiedenfels said at the Deutsche Bank 30th Annual Media, Internet & Telecom Conference. “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.”
He continued, “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.”
The news follows last week’s approval by Discovery shareholders to acquire AT&T’s WarnerMedia for $43 billion, effectively creating the new entity Warner Bros. Discovery. Discovery’s properties include Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Travel Channel, Animal Planet, and OWN, while those owned by WarnerMedia include HBO, CNN, Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, TBS, TNT, Turner Sports, Cartoon Network, and DC Films.
While there was no firm timetable given, the promise of a future with one less subscription bill is officially becoming reality.