It’s been an odd week for HBO Max. After a planned direct-streaming Batgirl movie was unceremoniously canceled and some “underperforming” streaming originals were removed from the platform, CEO David Zaslav took the stage to explain on an investor call the brand’s development strategy.
Among the big announcements made on the conference call, the most surprising was the confirmation that HBO Max and Discovery+ will merge into a single streaming platform in 2023. Details about the platform’s name, pricing and specific content remain a mystery, but the presentation includes slides explaining that it will be on-demand and live, including ad-free, stripped-down and ad-only options, as well as multiple tiers for things like sports , and offer transactions. That means pay-per-view-style offerings might be on the table — but what exactly they are, and the price points for the various tier options, aren’t in the presentation.
The launch of the new platform will be broken down by region. The US will debut in the summer of 2023, Latin America will enter in the fall of 2023, and Europe and “new markets” will emerge in 2024.
The investor call also mentioned a “course correction” measure, which referred to a “reorganization” of the brand’s content portfolio, including scripted programming, children’s and animation offerings, and direct-to-HBO Max movies, so it’s unclear what HBO Max is. Current products and original works will jump from their current platform to this new merged platform in the future.
Image via Getty Images/Dimitrios Kambouris/Staff.
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