TV & Video Week in Review

Report Type: 
Week In Review

Warner Bros. Discovery’s streamer becomes ‘Max’ 

Warner Bros. Discovery is rebranding HBO Max and Discovery+, bunding the two streaming services into one product: Max. This has been anticipated since WarnerMedia and Discovery merged last year but was not expected to launch until the summer. The launch has now been moved up to May 23rd. It will cost $15.99 (ad-free) or $9.99 (ad-supported), amd existing subscribers will maintain current access at the same price. For those that want premium, there is a new offering, “Ultimate” which provides 4k HDR 4 concurrent streams and 100 downloads. The company also announced new content, including a Harry Potter series coming soon.

The Circana Take:

  • The company is banking on the removal of the “HBO” moniker to bring in a wider audience. Of note, that was also the mission of HBO Max three-years ago.  It will come down to the content and its positioning.
  • Acquisition (HBO) and retention (Discovery); period.

FAST on Google TV  

Google TV is growing its free ad-supported TV (FAST) services. Previously, viewers using the Google TV interface could access Pluto TV; now, they will be able to watch content from Tubi, Plex, and Haystack, along with other free channels the company is building. There are more than 800 channels available through one programming guide that is organized by topic, allowing users an easier view at what is out there to watch.

The Circana Take

  • As we are always looking for an easy, one-stop shop to watch content, allowing users to access multiple free streaming platforms through one place will likely increase usage of Google TV.
  • The company is looking to leverage the trend towards FAST to increase their position in the OS wars, ultimately monetizing the household base.