distance Platform merger with Discovery Plus in 2023WBD CEO JB Perrette has confirmed that subscription prices for HBO Max will definitely go “north.” In addition, the advertisement is uploaded to a file Cheaper ad-supported subscription tier can double.
It was revealed during WBD recently Q3 earnings call (Opens in a new tab) With Wall Street analysts, this came after the company reported lower than expected results. Between July and September of this year, WBD’s direct-to-consumer wallet – which includes HBO, HBO Max and Discovery Plus – added just 2.8 million new subscribers. The company now has a total of 95 million global subscribers – nearly 57 million Disney Plus (152 million) and 128 million behind Netflix (223 million).
Apparently WBD executives plan to respond to the slowdown by putting a higher price tag on the company’s still-unidentified ultra-thin broadcast device, which is due to launch between March and June of next year.
More content, higher price
HBO Max’s standard tier currently costs $15 per month, a price that has remained stable since the platform launched in May 2020. The ad-supported tier from HBO Max – which debuted in June 2021 – costs $9.99 per month.
It’s not clear if Perrette’s hint of price direction “north” refers to both the record and ad-supported levels for HBO Max. However, since the volume of content offered by both versions of the streaming device is likely to increase after the WBD super broadcaster is built, prices are almost certain to go up across the board.
That’s Perrett’s justification for the impending increases, anyway. Speaking to Wall Street analysts, the WBD CEO noted that mixing HBO Max with Discovery Plus would create a streaming product suitable for entire households, rather than just individual users.
That sentiment chimes with what we’ve previously heard Perrette claim about a new streaming device in development from WBD. Speaking in August 2022, the CEO confirmed that the service in question would position the extensive portfolios of WarnerMedia and Discovery Inc. Under one flowing roof to provide ‘something for everyone’. Currently, WBD Network’s offerings include HBO, CNN, DC Comics, Discovery Channel, Food Network, HGTV, Magnolia Network, OWN, TBS, and TNT.
Perrett explains how the new streaming device will offer more than the sum of its parts, he said, “HBO Max has a competitive feature set, but it has performance and customer issues. Discovery Plus has best-in-class performance and consumer ratings, but it has limited features. Our shared service will focus on delivering The best of both.”
It’s clear, then, that WBD sees the new streaming device as a more valuable offering than HBO Max and Discovery Plus as stand-alone products – and subscribers are expected to pay for this superior value.
On the topic of ads, Perrett also noted, during the company’s latest earnings call: “Today, we have two to three minutes of ads on HBO Max ‘ad-light’, which is about half of what we have on Discovery Plus, we’re launching products We have almost 100% growth in the new inventory available to us as we look to merge the ads of these two products.”
In other words, the ad-supported HBO Max tier – in whatever form it appears after the merger with Discovery Plus – gets more ads. Of course, this tier will likely still be a lot cheaper than the ad-free version of the new streaming device, but that wouldn’t be much of a relief to Millions of subscribers already registered For the cheaper tier of HBO Max.