discovery+ Doesn’t Offer Annual Subscription Plan; Makes HBO Max Integration Much Easier
If you are a fan of TV shows in the baking, home renovation, true crime, dating, or supernatural genres, chances are that discovery+ has hundreds — if not thousands — of hours of programming that you would love binging. And given the current economic climate, you would be remiss if you didn’t try to find as many ways as possible to save some money while streaming all of that compelling comfort content.
However, the Warner Bros. Discovery lifestyle streamer does not have a standard annual subscription option to give fans the chance to save on a longer-term plan. That means that in most cases, customers new to discovery+ are forced to choose between the ad-free and ad-lite monthly tiers at $4.99 or $6.99 per month respectively. Given the more than 55,000 hours of programming on the service, the monthly rates are certainly reasonable, but it is curious that there is no permanent annual plan available.
While yearly subscription is not an evergreen option, discovery+ does regularly use annual plans as part of promo offers. A representative from WBD told The Streamable, “The discovery+ annual subscription option was part of a limited-time promotion. Various deals are offered periodically, while standard monthly plans are currently available for consumers.”
While this policy predates Discovery's acquisition of WarnerMedia earlier this year, it is interesting to examine how the strategy plays into the longterm plans of the newly merged Warner Bros. Discovery.
Even before the two media giants came under a single corporate umbrella, company executives were publicly discussing the plan to initially bundle and eventually merge the two streamers.
Related: HBO Max, discovery+ Provide Blueprint for Streaming’s Rebundling Era
The plan was reiterated at May’s advertiser Upfront presentations when WBD’s head of global streaming JB Perrette said that the unified service was coming “in the not-too-distant future.” Then, roughly one month later, HBO Max subscribers began receiving an email offering them a substantially discounted monthly rate on discovery+. Rather than the normal $4.99 and $6.99 plans, HBO Max subscribers could get the ad-lite version of the service for just $0.99 for four months, or the ad-free option for just $3.99 for that same time period.
If this four-month discounted window is any indication as to when WBD might look to begin integrating discovery+ and HBO Max, either an official bundle or full-on merger could take place before the end of the year. If so, it would make sense that the company to avoid allowing customers to sign up for the lifestyle streamer long-term. Currently, HBO Max offers annual plans at $149.99 for ad-free and $99.99 for ad-lite, both of which result in a 16% savings for customers.
While this is obviously not an overt indication as to what Warner Bros. Discovery plans to do with its two disparate streaming platforms, but when coupled with on-the-record comments and the recent promo offer to HBO Max subscribers, it does seem like the tea leaves are starting to align for something to happen with the streamers sooner rather than later.
discovery+ is a video streaming service that offers more than 70,000 episodes of 2,500+ current and classic shows from several popular TV brands including Discovery, Investigation Discovery, HGTV, TLC, Food Network, A&E, Lifetime, and History.
The service primarily focuses on non-fiction programming or “reality” TV shows.
discovery+ is available with limited ads for $4.99 / month or ad-free for $6.99 / month.