Warner Bros. Discovery has announced plans to combine HBO Max and Discovery+ into a single streaming service, Variety reports.
Warner CEO David Zaslav confirmed the news during a second-quarter earnings call on Thursday. The media corporation has not announced the name of the platform, but said it will launch in the US next summer.
“One of the most important items here is that we believe in a combined product as opposed to a bundle. … We believe that the breadth and depth of this content offering is going to be a phenomenal consumer value proposition,” Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels told Variety. “The question is, in order to get to that point and do it in a way that’s actually a great user experience for our subscribers, that’s going to take some time. Again, that’s nothing that’s going to happen in weeks—hopefully not in years, but in several months—and we will start working on an interim solution in the meantime.”
Wiedenfels said HBO Max will focus more on a male demographic, while Discovery will be geared towards women.
“The combination could not make more sense than what we’re doing here,” he said. “We have HBO Max, with a more premium, male-skewing positioning, and then you’ve got the female-positioning on the Discovery side. You’ve got the daily engagement that people enjoy with Discovery content versus sort of the event-driven nature of the HBO Max content. Take that together, I have no doubt that we will be creating one of the most complete, sort of four quadrant, old-young-male-female products out there. And I’m really excited about it.”
The news arrives after it was revealed Warner had removed at least six streaming-exclusive movies from HBO Max: Moon shot starring Lana Condor, Superintelligence with Melissa McCarthy, The Witches 2020 remake featuring Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, and Chris Rock, Seth Rogen’s An American Pickle, Locked Down with Hathaway, duck Batgirl, the DC film that was scheduled to be released later this year. It cost $90 million and had finished shooting.
“The decision not to release Batgirl reflects our leadership’s strategic shift as it relates to the DC universe and HBO Max,” a Warner Bros. Pictures told NBC, before mentioning that Batgirl lead Leslie Grace is “an incredibly talented actor and this decision is not a reflection of her performance.”