Warner Bros. Discovery confirms HBO Max, Discovery+ will merge

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Warner Bros. Discovery officials have confirmed HBO Max and Discovery+ will be combined into a single streaming platform and is considering a free, ad-supported tier as well.

The news, which had been largely expected by analysts, was confirmed by WBD CEO David Zaslav on an Aug. 4, 2022, earnings call.

He did not mention what name the new service would use, but did say plans call for a summer 2023 launch in the U.S. and 2024 debut in other markets.

Neither service currently has a free, ad-supported tier, though they both offer a lower-priced option that has limited ads. Ad-supported plans have become increasingly appealing to streamers as a way to drive signups for people unwilling to pay for yet another streaming service.

Because the company has not confirmed its plans, it’s not clear if all content would be available on a potential free edition or if some of it would be reserved only for certain paying customers, similar to how NBCUniversal’s Peacock streamer operates.