Please do not charge more for HBO Max, Warner Bros. Discovery

Warner Bros.  Discovery mock art logo on a smartphone

HBO Max and Discovery Plus will eventually stream on a single Warner Bros. app. Discovery.

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WarnerMedia and Discovery have officially merged to form Warner Bros. Discovery. Yeah, that means The Sopranos, Euphoria and Batman, 1000 pounds. Sisters, Ancient Aliens and Property Brothers will live under the same roof as the marriage brings together movies, TV shows, channels owned by Warner and its HBO Max streaming service with Discovery brands.

And just like that, all of this content comes together like a New Age Voltron.

Excited? As an HBO Max subscriber who doesn’t care much about Discovery shows, I’m not. Streaming TV prices are risingand I constantly compare which platform has the best throwbacks, rotation of new titles, originals, and access to new episodes.

Cord cutters like me mainly wonder how this merger will affect our expenses streaming services each month. Netflix caused an uproar over its price increase earlier this year, and customers took to social media, threatening to jump ship. HBO Max sits on the same side of that pricey table, costing us $15 a month for the ultimate ad-free experience and $10 if you don’t mind the ads. Meanwhile, Discovery More only charges its 22 million subscribers $5 for its basic plan and $7 for the ad-free version.

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Warner Bros. Discovery intends to welcome us to this merged realm with a bundled arrangement à la Hulu with Disney Plus and ESPN Plus — first. Then the plan is to create a unified streaming app where HBO Max goodies are on the same shelf as Discovery Plus offerings. But let’s be honest: I don’t want to see another price hike, and neither do you.

Content stuffed? No thanks.

When Hulu added Disney Plus and ESPN Plus to his live TV packages, he came with a $5 raise and no choice to opt out. Pay more and get access to those other streaming services whether you like it or not. Will Warner do the same?

Although Discovery has some jewels of its range, not all of us HBO Max customers are happy to want access to its entire streaming catalog. I’m well. If I want, I can watch Food Network or OWN shows on another streaming platform that I pay for. The same goes for die-hard Chip and Joanna Gaines fans who regularly tune into the Magnolia Network. It’s true that you can stream back-to-back episodes of 90 Day Fiancé-plus on the current Discovery Plus app, but much of it is available elsewhere.

Because I don’t watch sports, Warner Bros. Discovery to expand this branch of the empire doesn’t really speak to me either. And that said, a bunch of old or new content that I’ll never watch won’t justify a higher subscription price. Paying more money is not what my dreams are made of. And on the other hand, loyal Discovery Plus subscribers who don’t want or don’t have HBO Max probably aren’t thrilled to potentially cough up more than $5 a month.

Streaming is starting to look more like cable TV

Streaming Wars has become a buzz term to describe all the media giants becoming contenders for on-demand gaming. Niche providers and smaller services account for some of that action, but when HBO Max entered the gladiatorial arena in 2020, over 10,000 hours of premium movies, shows and originals helped it along. to start.

As well as watching HBO classics like Game of Thrones and Warner blockbusters (Harry Potter, The Matrix), we can stream DCEU titles, Cartoon Network series like Adventure Time and Max Originals (The White Lotus). Hence the other fashionable term: Prestige Television. HBO falls into this category, and that’s one of the reasons people pay for it as a premium cable channel.

HBO Max Movies and TV Shows

The integration of HBO Max and Discovery Plus will create a more complete catalog, but at what price for customers?

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Discovery’s brands, in the United States and around the world, are the most popular as linear cable networks. This includes Lifetime, HGTV, TBS, Food Network and A&E. It certainly doesn’t fall into the prestige TV category. In fact, it’s radically different from the majority of Warner and HBO productions. Cable subscribers are pretty much set with Discovery content, but they can get HBO Max as an add-on if they want.

As a streaming service, HBO Max offers exclusive titles and everything under the HBO and Warner banner. Stream its on-demand library, enjoy a show, and enjoy it, no matter how old you are. But the way these mergers are going, all of these channels are bundled into cable-like packages where you pay for an extra set of networks that you don’t want or need. In some cases, it is better to skip a dedicated app and watch episodes on cable or a live tv streaming service like YouTube TV or Sling.

It becomes a game of who offers what and where can I find it. Cable companies have been playing it for decades and streaming services are slowly turning into the same system. Paying the same amount of money – or more – than I would for cable defeats the purpose of paying for a premium streaming service.

What Warner Bros. Discovery should do

The renowned media giant wants to sell customers on the fact that there will now be more than 200,000 hours of TV, movies and live programs available to stream on demand. Typically, this equates to higher prices. We’ve seen it before with Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu and other providers telling us that the increased cost is necessary to give us “more value” and to fund all the new projects that are in the pipeline. Why Warner Bros. Wouldn’t Discovery eventually follow suit?

It’s not necessary. After his plans expire, he should either keep the monthly prices the same or, dare I say it, lower them. Grandpa existing customers with old prices and snag newbies with a promotional rate before hitting them with higher monthly fees.

As for the organization of the app, bring the Discovery Networks together in a singular hub in the HBO Max app, similar to how there are already designated hubs for HBO, Studio Ghibli, and DC. Or divide Discovery brands into their own hubs. Just don’t spam viewers with ads for all the content we don’t watch. Let the algorithm reflect what someone is really interested in seeing.

A combined mega app is unlikely to give any of us the choice to opt out of specific programming – for me that would be the Discovery Plus thing – but surely these two titans can give us a little of slack while keeping the cost the same price. I would hate to cancel my HBO Max.

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