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Discovery+ Reportedly Remaining a Separate App Instead of Merging With HBO Max

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Warner Bros. Discovery is reportedly walking back a decision to merge its two streaming services, HBO Max and discovery+. The merging of Warner Bros. and Discovery resulted in the formation of the new company, Warner Bros. Discovery, led by CEO David Zaslav. It’s been an open secret that WBD wanted to consolidate its assets, meaning instead of having two streaming services, the company would decrease that to one. WBD was reportedly close to finalizing a name for the combined HBO Max/discovery+ in December, but now a new report claims discovery+ will remain a separate app instead.

Wall Street Journal reports the plan is to keep discovery+ as a standalone app. However, Warner Bros. Discovery is apparently still going to introduce a new streaming service that includes HBO Max and most discovery+ content. The reason for this change in approach reportedly comes down to WBD not wanting to lose discovery+’s 20 million subscribers since the upcoming new service will have a heftier price point. Discovery+ without ads costs $6.99 a month, and the ad-supported version costs $4.99. On the other hand, HBO Max costs $15.99 a month without ads and $9.99 with ads, with the new service expected to cost even more than HBO Max currently. Sources state the content available on discovery+ and the new app will include Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” and shows from Chip and Joanna Gaines’s Magnolia Network.

Warner Bros. Discovery Licenses HBO Max Shows to Other Streaming Services

Warner Bros. Discovery announced in December that instead of hosting some of its original programs on HBO and HBO Max, the company will license certain shows to third-party FAST streaming services. FAST stands for free ad-supported streaming television, such as Paramount’s Pluto TV and FOX’s Tubi. Fans haven’t been encouraged by the news that such fan-favorite shows like Westworld and The Nevers were being removed from HBO Max, meaning subscribers wouldn’t have the chance to stream them again. Add that to the cancellations of Gordita Chronicles and Minx, and consumer confidence in HBO Max and Warner Bros. Discovery is at an all-time low. Luckily, the news of potential licensing deals means these shows won’t fade out into the background and be forgotten.

The decision by Warner Bros. Discovery to move some of its programs to outside streaming services is to “strategically assess how best to maximize audiences and monetization opportunities for its content.” Part of this move will eventually lead to the creation of Warner Bros. Discovery’s own FAST service, though additional details won’t be shared until 2023.

“We are incredibly proud of Westworld and the remarkable work of our cast and crew. We are excited to have the opportunity to welcome a whole new audience to our show,” Westworld creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy said in a joint statement.

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