HBO Max and Discovery+ will be combined into one streaming platform in 2023

HBO Max as we know it today will soon be gone. In the first earnings call since the two media properties merged earlier this year, Warner Bros. Discovery announced that it plans to combine HBOMax and Discovery+ into a single streaming service – which will debut in the summer of 2023. It’s unclear if the new streamer references HBO at all — the company’s head of global streaming, JB Perrette, said the company is still researching how consumers perceive the brand name.

The news comes on the heels of the newly merged company during the second quarter. “Ultimately, merging all the content was the only way to make this a viable business,” Perrette told analysts.

The leadership of Warner Bros. plans a major change to its streaming offerings and also has to cut costs, which has sparked rumors that HBO Max is being stripped. Executives have not disclosed the name of the new platform or pricing details, but have disclosed that it will feature an ad-free and cheaper ad-supported plan. It can also add a free ad-supported tier to further expand its audience.

There was no mention of layoffs at HBO Max during today’s earnings call – what the cover were imminent as the two streaming platforms are being restructured. Engadget has reached out to HBO Max for comment and will update if we hear anything.

It’s unclear exactly how the merger will affect future content offerings on the newly unified streamer. The company abruptly announced this week that it was canceling two films in development for HBO Max – batgirl and Scoob!. Around the same time, the streamer announced that he was canceling the show The Gordita Chronicles and put an end to live-action kids and family programming altogether. Some of HBO Max’s shows and movies in the past few weeks, including: moonshot, the witches and An American pickleand more to come.

One thing’s for sure, we’ll see far fewer blockbuster movies premiere on the new streamer, like during the pandemic. David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, said releasing movies in theaters only increased profits. “That’s why most people got into this business — to be on the big screen when the lights went out,” said Mr. Zaslav. “That’s the magic, and the economic model is much stronger.”

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