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Select HBO Max Subscribers Offered discovery+ Discount; Hint at Future Merger Plans?

Matt Tamanini

The Great Rebundling has apparently begun over at Warner Bros. Discovery. After promising that the newly formed conglomerate’s disparate streaming services would be bundled and eventually merged back in March, it appears that WBD is making the first move towards that goal as select HBO Max subscribers have begun receiving emails providing them discounted access to discovery+.

The HBO Max subscribers who receive the offer will be able to add on discovery+’s ad-lite tier for just $0.99 per month for four months or the ad-free option for $3.99 monthly for the same period. These users will receive a personalized, unique promo code which they can redeem here.

While this is not yet an official bundle, in the style of what Disney offers with Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+, it is a substantive step towards that end. Since announcing the company’s intention to unite the platforms even before WarnerMedia was acquired by Discovery, executives have continually touted the plan to bring the two services together in a two-step plan: First as a bundle, second as a complete and totally merged streamer.

Just last month, WBD’s head of global streaming JB Perrette said that combining the services into “one awesome global streaming project” was coming “in the not-too-distant future.”

Related: HBO Max, discovery+ Provide Blueprint for Streaming’s Rebundling Era

With that in mind, the timing of the offer is curious. Four months would mean that the discounted rate for these select HBO Max subscribers would end as early as mid-October. Assuming that the deal will be available for at least a few weeks, that would push the end date into November, perhaps even right up to Cyber Monday.

The holiday shopping window would seem like an ideal time for WBD to begin promoting either an official bundle of HBO Max and discovery+ or the fully integrated product. Capitalizing on the gift-giving season would put the streamer(s) front and center during a time of the year when consumers are often looking for the perfect presents for hard-to-shop-for loved ones as well as a myriad of different types of content to watch with friends and family.

Given HBO Max’s prestige TV and deep movie libraries, it would seem to be great for get-togethers with family and friends of all ages, while discovery+’s baking, cooking, and decorating shows feel like the perfect type of content to stream while making cookies or wrapping presents.

While obviously nothing is confirmed, the specific length and timing of this deal feels like it could be setting up Warner Bros. Discovery’s next move on the bundling front, and it just might mean that the customers will be the ones getting the gift of content this holiday season.

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