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Warner Bros. Discovery Reportedly Won’t Raise Prices on New Streaming Service; Could Offer $20 per Month Premium Tier

Warner Bros. Discovery isn’t set to unveil its plans for the company’s new, unified streaming service that will pull together nearly all of its content from HBO Max and discovery+, but it is gearing up to do so at a special event on April 12. However, a new report from Bloomberg's Lucas Shaw is shedding a bit of light on some of the important details about the forthcoming streamer.

WBD has already confirmed that it will move the majority of the unscripted titles from discovery+ onto the new services — likely to be called “Max” — while still keeping the lower-priced service as a standalone subscription option. However, Shaw is now reporting that the company will essentially be keeping the current HBO Max prices in place for the new service, despite the thousands of hours of lifestyle content that will supplement the prestige TV and movies.

Sources told Bloomberg that the unified streamer will cost $9.99 per month for the ad-supported option and “either $15 or $16 a month” for the ad-free tier, roughly the current prices for HBO Max after the first-ever price increase that was announced in January.

However, the company is also currently considering adding a third pricing plan at $20 monthly for the combined service that could feature “better video quality and possibly other features.” That would put the top tier for the service in line with Netflix’s Premium plan, which also includes higher video quality, additional simultaneous streams and downloads, and other exclusive features.

Since WarnerMedia and Discovery merged last year, the new company’s executives have been critical of HBO Max, both in terms of the streamer’s spending habits and what they consider an ineffective tech platform; the new service is being designed to address all of those concerns.

WBD CEO David Zaslav and his team have already engaged in a fairly Draconian cost-cutting campaign that saw dozens of titles canceled, shelved, and/or removed from the streamer in favor of tax write-offs, licensing opportunities, and any other budget-friendly benefit that they could find. The new streamer will take much of the Discovery content and pair it with the award-winning series from HBO, Warner Bros. movies, and Max originals to provide what the execs believe will be a more well-rounded platform.

Despite the fact that when the data was last shared, there was only roughly 4 million customers that subscribed to both HBO Max and discovery+, Zaslav believes that the broadening of content on the service will allow it to better compete with Netflix. The world’s largest streamer prides itself on being a one-stop-shop for all things streaming, serving as a home for popular movies, buzzy scripted TV series, popular documentaries, and addictive reality shows. WBD has all of those things — to varying degrees — under its corporate umbrella, so the thought is that by putting them in one place, it will not only attract more subscribers but also keep current customers engaged with the platform longer, lessening their desire to churn when the latest prestige series wraps up.

In just over one month, Warner Bros. Discovery will make the full plans for the new and improved platform public, but by keeping HBO Max’s prices essentially intact, the conglomerate appears to be conceding that it has nearly hit the pricing ceiling for the time being — without significant technical additions for a $20 tier — and that the additions of the Discovery titles will be more about customer maintenance and acquisition than adding extra value to an already expensive subscription.

Matt is The Streamable's News Editor and resident Ohio State fan. You can find him covering everything from breaking news to streaming comparisons to sporting events. Matt is extremely well-rounded, having worked for the Big Ten Conference, BroadwayWorld, True Crime Obsessed, and Land-Grant Holy Land before joining TS. He cut the cord in 2014, streams with a Fire TV, and his favorite titles include "The Bear," "The Great British Bake Off," "Mrs. Davis," and anything on the Hallmark Channel.


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