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HBO Max, Discovery+ To Merge Into One Streaming Service

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Stone, Staffordshire / UK - November 17, 2019: HBO max logo on a smartphone covered with popcorn. Concept photo for a new video streaming service. (Editorial credit: Ascannio / Shutterstock.com)

HBO Max and Discovery+ Will Merge Into One Streaming Service.

Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav said on a Thursday earnings call that the firm is considering offering a free, ad-supported variant of the combined streaming platform.

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On Thursday's second-quarter earnings conference call, HBO Max and Discovery+ will be combined into a single streaming service. David Zaslav, the president of Discovery Communications, said as much on a second-quarter earnings call Thursday morning.

The media business did not disclose the name of the new platform, which it said would begin in the United States in the summer of 2023, with additional regions to follow in 2024.

According to the quarterly earnings report, HBO Max and Discovery+ currently have 92 million subscribers. By 2025, Warner Bros. plans to attract 130 million global customers.

According to Zaslav, the firm is considering providing a free, ad-supported version of the combined streaming platform. HBO Max's ad-supported level presently costs $10 per month.

Zaslav is attempting to reduce expenses and identify $3 billion in savings, as he promised investors after WarnerMedia and Discovery Inc. were formally combined in April, creating one of the largest media companies in the United States.

Following the cancellation of "Batgirl" and "Scoob! Holiday Haunt," two days following news that Warner Bros. decided to scrap the projects, They announced HBO Max's shift in strategy.

According to Variety, the two "Scooby-Doo!" movies will not be streamed on any platform or released in theaters. Presumably, Warner Bros. can take a write-down on both projects and try to recoup production expenses.

"The decision to not release Batgirl reflects our leadership's strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max," a Warner Bros. Pictures spokesperson said in a statement, adding that "Batgirl" star Leslie Grace is "an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance."

The decision shocked Hollywood, where significant studios rarely shelve movies entirely.

Most films that do not meet a studio's creative or financial expectations are sold to a streaming service or quietly released in theaters without promotion.

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