In 2022, Warner Bros. Discovery announced plans to merge its HBO Max and Discovery+ streaming services. Now, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal, those plans have changed, and both services will remain separate, at least for now.
What happened? According to the article, which uses unnamed sources, the company felt that current Discovery+ subscribers, who pay $4.99 a month for the service with ads and $6.99 a month without ads, would obviously not like it if they had to pay a lot more money per month if it merged with HBO Max.
Warner Bros. Discovery has already been making preparations for the merger, adding in Discovery+ content to HBO Max and vice versa. It also got rid of a number of movies and TV shows from HBO Max in 2022, including some that were exclusive to the service, in order to save money from paying out royalties.
The new plan, according to the WSJ, is to keep Discovery+ as a separate streaming service. HBO Max will reportedly be renamed to Max as part of a spring revamp of that service, which will allegedly still combine content from that service and Discovery Plus. HBO Max currently charges subscribers $9.99 a month with ads and $15.99 a month without ads. It's also available at no additional cost for people who include HBO in their cable and satellite TV plans.
Warner Bros. Discovery has also sent a number of its streaming shows to free streaming outlets like Tubi and The Roku Channel, and it also plans to launch a free, ad-based, streaming service later this year.
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