HBO Max and Discovery+ to merge into an app called MaxReading Time: 2 minutes
This won’t be confusing at all.
CEO David Zaslav’s stewardship of Warner Bros. Discovery has been a perilous journey, but it’s about to reach one major destination.
After nearly a year of rumors to this effect, a report from The New York Times indicated that the long-awaited merger between the HBO Max and Discovery+ streaming apps will happen in either May or June of this year. The new app will simply be called ‘Max’ and will cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $16/mo, which is what HBO Max costs now.
We’ll have to wait until Wednesday for full confirmation, as the Times reported that Warner will hold an announcement event at that time.
Some of the major components of this merger that haven’t been clarified yet include what content from each app will survive on the joined streaming service and how current HBO Max subscribers will be grandfathered in, if at all. The Times reported that there will be cheaper versions of the service, including a tier with ads. So you don’t have to pay $16/mo if you don’t feel like it.
While this news may be exciting for Warner shareholders, fans of HBO Max might reasonably be worried about what this means for the service. HBO Max has been popularly regarded as one of the best streaming platforms out there, thanks to a focus on high-quality movies and TV. Removing ‘HBO’ from the name and bringing in Discovery’s more reality TV-focused portfolio could dilute the product.
That said, it’s already been diluted during Zaslav’s time as CEO, which began in April 2022. Nearly 40 animated series and six streaming-only movies were unceremoniously pulled from the service in a money-saving measure last year. A standalone Batgirl movie was produced and ready to go before it was suddenly canceled, never to be seen by the public. And perhaps most shockingly, the app got rid of hundreds of episodes of Sesame Street.
All of that is to say that fans of HBO Max may want to keep their phones at the ready on Wednesday when the news drops.
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