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HBO Max & Discovery+ Streaming Service Merge Won’t Be Confusing Says CEO


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The Discovery+ and HBO Max streaming merger will not be confusing, promises CEO David Zaslav. Discovery has long been the go-to channel for viewers seeking informative, factual programming, as well as original content, offering channels including The Discovery Channel, TLC, and Animal Planet. Discovery+ is the streaming platform created by Discovery Inc., that was first launched in India back in March 2020, and has quickly become one of the top 10 most popular streaming services with around 18 million subscribers to date. After expanding to the UK and Europe, the streaming service officially launched in the United States in January 2021.

The platform came about as a result of Discovery Inc. rebranding the existing Dplay platforms. The service originally launched under the name QuestOD, and functioned as an online video-on-demand service until it was announced the service would be changing its name to Dpay in October 2019. Dpay was short-lived, and a year later, the service was re-dubbed Discovery+, whilst a separate Discovery+ platform was launched in the United States. Around a similar timeframe, video-on-demand streaming service, HBO Max, was unveiled (May 2020), launched via WarnerMedia's subsidiary, WarnerMedia Direct. Built around content from HBO, the channel is also a content hub for many of the titles WarnerMedia owns, and, since launch, the platform has a total of 67.5 million paying subscribers, with this number growing each month.

RELATED:9 Best Reality TV Shows To Stream On Discovery+

It was announced earlier this year that Discovery Inc. and WarnerMedia would be merging, and provide users with a combined streaming platform of Discovery+ and HBO Max. This has led to a lot of anticipation, and certainly improves the scope of both companies, but there have been concerns over the complexities of the merger. As reported in Deadline, these worries perhaps prompted Zalav to try to drum up more enthusiasm. At today's Goldman Sachs conference, he talked about the plans for the platform, as well as the focus on keeping things simple. Read his statement below:

"We are modulating it. We are being careful. We have a lot of subscribers. Warner has a lot of subscribers… We want to be thoughtful. We don’t want [it] to be confusing when the two come together. We are still going forward, we are just being thoughtful and mindful. We are on track for the new markets to come on, but [are] looking at those new markets, at the approach, at the way we attack it with the idea in mind that next year we will be a new company.”

This merger is a seemingly unlikely partnership, but one that certainly has some advantages for both sides, and this makes it one of the key streaming platform services to keep an eye on moving forward. The move will also allow Warner to gain a stronger foothold in the streaming industry, and they will no doubt feel this gives them a service that will challenge the might of Disney+, Netflix, and Prime Video.

The COVID-19 pandemic solidified the strength and popularity of online streaming platforms, and this is a good time for companies to start launching theirs. And the great thing about the Discovery+ and HBO Max merger, is that it allows users to enjoy the very best premium factual content from Discovery, a stunning collection of Warner's back catalog content, as well as highly anticipated HBO Max TV shows and movies. It seems like a merger that represents the best of both worlds, and there could very well be other companies following suit in the future if this merger between Discovery+ and HBO Max proves successful.

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