Warner Bros. Discovery plans to launch its streaming service that combines the assets of HBO Max and Discovery+ in the US next summer, the company said during its quarterly earnings call Thursday. With a target date set, there’s a lot to figure out in the coming months, including what the consolidated platform will be called.
The question was raised during the Q&A portion of the earnings call when WBD executives were asked how they would maximize the HBO brand and whether they feel it is broad enough and has enough value on a global basis.
“The HBO brand is one of the company’s great crown jewels and represents so much, and how we’ve all been introduced to premium television and series,” said WBD CEO David Zaslov, adding “We continue to look at data… how people See HBO Max. More and more people are saying that this is the place they prefer, it’s the place with the highest quality… So we talk to consumers and we evaluate.”
WBD executives today revealed the minimal overlap of current subscribers between HBO Max and Discovery+, underscoring the different constituencies the two platforms target: HBO Max’s coastal/metropolitan appeal and Discovery+’s Central American appeal. That would probably explain why WBD Brass didn’t go directly to the HBO Max brand as a nickname for the combined platform, as the company used the Warner Bros. logo to name the merged Warner Bros. Representing Discovery Company.
Still, “no matter what happens, as David says, the HBO brand will be untouchable, live on,” CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels was quick to add. “There is a difference between what the service will eventually be called or not, and what HBO is. HBO will always be the beacon and the ultimate brand for the best television quality. That remains unchanged in our minds in every scenario.”