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Monday, February 26, 2024

HBO Max was renamed Max, and Warner Bros. Discovery misplaced subscribers

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Warner Bros. Discovery misplaced 1.8 million subscribers within the three months following the launch of Max. The losses weren’t unique to the Max streaming service, although. In its earnings report on Thursday, the corporate reported having 95.8 million world subscribers throughout all of its companies — down from 97.6 million on the finish of the primary quarter of this yr.

Regardless of this, the executives at Warner Bros. Discovery don’t appear too fearful. Throughout an earnings name, the corporate’s chief monetary officer, Gunnar Wiedenfels, attributed the downward development to “overlapping subscriber bases between Max and Discovery Plus” in addition to “anticipated churn” following the top of The Final of Us season 1 and the sequence finale of Succession.

CEO David Zaslav had one thing much like say, noting that “whereas we’ve seen some anticipated subscriber disruption, we’ve skilled decrease than anticipated churn all through this course of” — a course of that concerned asking HBO Max subscribers to obtain a brand new Max app to their gadgets as a way to proceed utilizing the service. Zaslav additionally mentioned that the corporate nonetheless expects its streaming enterprise within the US to grow to be worthwhile this yr.

Warner Bros. Discovery expects “a number of 100 million {dollars} upside” as a result of strikes

Zaslav added that Warner Bros. Discovery plans on launching Max internationally over the “subsequent yr plus.” He additionally mentioned that Max “now has full functionality to ship reside programming” and that the corporate may have extra to share quickly.

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Dwell programming appears to imply greater than watching the subsequent season of The Final of Us as quickly because it airs concurrently on HBO. “We’re early on, however information and sports activities are essential differentiators — they’re compelling, and so they make these platforms come alive,” Zaslav mentioned. Zaslav has beforehand hinted at incorporating information and sports activities into Max, and rumors suggest that it could add live CNN broadcasts to the platform.

On the identical time, Warner Bros. Discovery is aiming to exit the regional sports activities community enterprise, with Zaslav stating that it’s going to promote or stop operations of the corporate’s networks by the top of this yr. Warner Bros. Discovery at the moment airs native baseball, basketball, and hockey video games via AT&T SportsNet channels.

On the manufacturing aspect of issues, Wiedenfels mentioned that Warner Bros. Discovery noticed “modest money financial savings” from the ongoing Hollywood strikes this quarter however expects “a number of 100 million {dollars} upside” to its free money stream going ahead. Netflix also anticipates having $1.5 billion in free money stream this yr as a result of work stoppage. However the financial savings aren’t a Positive factor.

As Hollywood producers in addition to writers and actors butt heads over using AI and streaming residuals, Zaslav mentioned it’s “essential” that the strike will get settled quickly. “Our aim is to inform nice tales… And we can’t do any of that with out the whole lot of the inventive neighborhood,” Zaslav mentioned. “We’re hopeful that every one sides will get again to the negotiating rooms in order that the strikes get resolved in a means that the writers and actors really feel they’re pretty compensated and their efforts and contributions are totally valued.”

The Alliance of Movement Image and Tv Producers and Writers Guild of America are set to have their first meeting for the reason that strike started on Friday. Whereas Warner Bros. Discovery says the strikes will save the corporate some cash, ultimately, the corporate has to earn cash, too. An absence of content material definitely received’t assist deliver any new subscribers — and their bank cards — to the newly merged Max.

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