HBO is “centerpiece” of Warner Bros. Discovery’s plan to combine streaming services

A day after writing about the future of HBO Max, inspired by remove some original titles From the streamer’s library, officials at Warner Bros. Discovery said the service remains a central part of its business. “Our strategy is to embrace and support the incredible success of HBO Max and drive it,” CEO David Zaslav said Thursday during a nearly two-hour conference call with investors.

To do so, Zaslav plans to combine HBO Max with sister streamer Discovery+ to create a new service that launches next summer, creating a single home for programming. 90 day fiancé, successionAnd Justice League, The service, which has yet to be named, is expected to attract at least 130 million customers over the next three years. (HBO Max and Discovery+ currently have a total of 92 million subscribers.)

Warner Bros. Discovery is also looking to launch a free, ad-supported service that will compliment new streamers, Zaslav said. The company did not disclose how much it plans to charge for the combined service.

As the company prepares for the eventual merger of HBO Max and Discovery+, executives are keeping a close eye on its content spending. In recent weeks, HBO Max quietly removed a handful of original and exclusive titles, including HBO Max movies an american pickle And the witches and the short-lived HBO drama series just And vinyl – It will be written off.

HBO Max on Tuesday too canceled plans To release a handful of films that would have been specific to its platform, including the Batwoman origin story bat girl and animated sequels Scoob!: Holiday Hunt, “Our focus will be on drama,” said Zaslav, interpretation of abnormal judgment to almost stop bat girl,

But as HBO Max loses some titles, it’s gaining others. On Thursday, ahead of the investor call, the streamer announced it would be adding some unscripted shows from Chip and Joanna Gaines’ popular home renovation brand Magnolia Network, while Discovery+ said it would create a hub for CNN programming like Anthony Bourdain: Parts UnknownN.

Zaslav explained that when it comes to Warner Bros. Discovery’s streaming offering, he wants to focus on quality, not quantity. “It’s not how much, it’s how cool,” he said, making sure to point out that HBO and HBO Max content chief Casey Bloys recently signed a new five-year contract that sees him transition to a streaming service. through the Company.

While there is a chance that the new service will not be called HBO Max, the HBO brand will “remain live,” streaming CEO JB Perrett confirmed on the call, adding, “HBO and Max Originals remain the clear home of the best streaming television and our combined streaming platform.” remains the centerpiece of it.”

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