What HBO Max/Discovery+ Means For the Future of Warner Bros & The Streaming Universe

On the August 5, 2022 episode of /Film Daily, /Film editorial director Peter Sciretta is joined by /Film news writer Ryan Scott to discuss the latest film and TV news, including what the Warner Bros/Discovery merger means for the future of the company and the streaming universe.

Opening Banter:

In The News:

  • Peter (og Lex): Heartbreak Feels Good For One More Year As Nicole Kidman Renews Contract With AMC
  • Warner Bros. Discovery Lost $3.4 Billion In First Quarter After The Merger
  • Warner Bros. To Return To A More Traditional Theatrical Release Model, CEO David Zaslav Confirms
    • No more streaming originals. Theatrical > VOD > Streaming
    • David Zaslav: "In theaters, the value of the content and the overall viewing experience is elevated," said. "When the same content moves to PVOD, and then streaming is elevated again. As films move from one window to the next, their overall value is elevated." … We have taken some aggressive steps to course correct the previous strategy,"
    • Is this a good or bad thing?
    • Will other streamers follow?
  • HBO Max And Discovery+ Will Officially Merge Into One Streaming Service In 2023
    • What should it be called?
    • The company is doing research on consumer perception of the HBO Max name. But, HBO will continue to be a major brand: “HBO will always be the beacon and the ultimate brand that stands for television quality.”
    • Male/Female skewed graphic
    • WB is about to cut 70% of the HBO Max production staff, they dont want to make more scripted HBO Max-only content
  • Warner Bros. Discovery Will Make A Push Into Free Ad-Supported Television (Or FAST)
    • “We see real potential and are exploring the opportunity for a FAST, or free ad-supported streaming offering, that would give consumers who do not want to pay a subscription fee access to great library content, while at the same time serving as an entry point to our premium service. We will talk to you more about our potential plans at our investor day which is planned for the end of the year."
    • Netflix has also mentioned ads but they are doing it for a cheaper subscription price
    • Peacock has FAST level
    • Will other streamers follow?
    • Premium to me always felt ad free
  • Warner Bros. Discovery Has A 10 Year Plan For DC, CEO Addresses Scrapping Batgirl
    • “We think we can build a much stronger, sustainable growth business out of DC,” Zaslav said during Thursday’s earnings call. “As part of that, we are going to focus on quality. We are not going to release any film before it’s ready…DC is something we can make better.”
    • Batgirl: the movie wasn’t strong enough to release theatrically and was too expensive for a streaming release
    • Canceling Batgirl but releasing The Flash
    • THR: DC Films’ Walter Hamada Was on the Brink of Exit After ‘Batgirl’ Cancellation: “Hamada was upset at not being consulted and concerned about the impact on those involved in making the film.” “Hamada has now agreed to remain in his post at least until the Oct. 21 release of the Dwayne Johnson film Black Adam, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. “He’s pausing,” says a source. “The decision has not been made to make this adversarial, yet.” 
    • Hamada came on board during the JL fiasco. He forged relationships with James Gunn and Todd Philips and made a push into a less connected DC universe. Some of that was successful financially, others not as much.

 

Also mentioned: 

 

All the other stuff you need to know:

  • You can find more about all the stories we mentioned on today’s show at slashfilm.com, and linked inside the show notes.
  • /Film Daily is published every weekday, bringing you the most exciting news from the world of movies and television as well as deeper dives into the great features from slashfilm.com. 
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