When HBO Max and Discovery+ complete their merger next year, the resulting yet-to-be-named streaming service will have a hefty price tag, TechRadar reports. Additionally, HBO’s current ad-supported tier may see its ad load double.
The news comes from a quarterly earnings call with Discovery Streaming and International CEO JB Perrette and Wall Street analysts following a lackluster Q3 performance. The CEO reportedly said prices would nearly certainly head “north” when the new platform launches in 2023.
The numerical value of “north” and how broadly the price hikes will apply remains unclear. However, since it’s safe to assume that the new streaming platform will offer the combined content of HBO Max and Discovery+, the northerly price direction will apply to all aspects of the new streamer.
Perrette explained that “HBO Max has a competitive feature set but has had performance and customer issues. Discovery+ has best-in-class performance and consumer ratings but more limited features. Our combined service will focus on delivering the best of both,” TechRadar reports.
The CEO also stated that there are two to three minutes of ads on HBO Max’s ad-supported plan, about half the number of advertisements on Discovery+. And that when the products combine, the company will see a near 100% growth of new inventory available–meaning more places to put advertisements.
HBO Max’s primary offering currently costs subscribers $15 per month. The ad-supported tier has a $10 monthly price tag. Discovery+’s ad-free plan costs $7, and with ads, it’s $5 per month.
From July through September this year, WBD (Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc.) added a mere 2.8 million subscribers to its streaming portfolio, including HBO Max and Discovery+. That leaves the combined total of subscribers just below 95 million, well behind competitors like Disney+ and Netflix, which have 152 and 223 million subscribers, respectively.