Two nascent streaming services have decided to team up and merge into one super streaming service. HBO Max and Discovery+ will both give up their lonely existences and become one glorious super viewing destination.
Gunnar Wiedenfels, WarnerMedia’s CFO, shared the news at an investor conference, adding that the merger is going to “take a while,” according to Deadline. Warner Media is in the process of merging with Discovery, and the close for that deal is expected in April.
Wiedenfels said “the main thrust is going to be harmonizing the technology platforms,” and that the company wants to build “one very strong combined direct-to-consumer product and platform, and that’s going to take a while.”
Discovery+ has about 22 million subscribers globally, which isn’t nothing, but for comparison Netflix has an estimated 221.8 million worldwide. The idea of the merging of the two services is fairly new and obviously has some logistics to work out, according to Discovery CEO David Zaslav.
“We see that there’s also a different viewing pattern between what’s going on in HBO Max and with Discovery+,” he said in a fourth-quarter earnings call. “A lot of our content is viewed throughout the day. So the first question is, how do we do when we come together?”
The move will reportedly save Discovery an estimated $3 billion. Zaslav added,
“A lot of the cost saving is actually going to come out of cost avoidance. Right now we’re running two completely separate, direct-to-consumer technology stacks of marketing operations. We’re spending roughly $6 billion for technology and marketing between HBO Max and Discovery+. Clearly, once we have successfully migrated those technology stacks in Q1, there is going to be tremendous opportunity to reduce costs.”