Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. plans to keep Discovery+ as a stand-alone streaming service, people familiar with the matter said, a strategy shift for a company that had planned to consolidate content in a single subscription app.
The move comes as Warner Discovery
is close to launching a new, yet-to-be named supersize streaming service amid increased competition and in an uncertain economic environment.
Company leaders have since adjusted that view, the people said.
The idea of building a one-stop shop for streaming was part of the appeal of merging AT&T Inc.’s
WarnerMedia with Discovery Inc., the deal that created Warner Bros. Discovery last year. The company had said streamlining its offerings made sense for the company and for consumers, given how crowded the streaming marketplace has become.
Instead of combining HBO Max and Discovery+ in their entirety, the new platform will feature HBO Max content and most Discovery+ content, with Discovery+ remaining available as a stand-alone option, some of the people said.
The decision to keep Discovery+ is part of an effort to avoid risking losing a significant chunk of the app’s 20 million subscribers who might not want to pay the higher price to access that content, according to the people familiar with the matter.
An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.
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