HBO Max isn’t dead yet. But it will be in the summer of 2023, and there will be a new service that replaces both HBO Max and Discovery Plus, Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav said during an earnings call today.
“HBO Max has a competitive feature set, but it has had performance and customer issues,” said Zaslav, much more polite than I would be about the app, which regularly struggles to stream when people tune in to big appointment shows like Euphoria and succession. He further claimed that Discovery Plus has a better technology stack and would become the core of the new service that combines HBO Max content with Discovery Plus content and technology.
“We think that product will be fantastic,” Zaslav said later in the conversation, after assuring listeners that the company would not go through with an HBO Max-targeted cancellation. This news comes after a week of worry for users. At the beginning of the week, the company made the decision to sell the nearly complete batgirl from the release calendar and take it to the vault. Additional movies exclusive to HBO Max have disappeared from the service, but are still available to purchase or rent. the cover then reported that things were looking bad for HBO Max and the creative development teams that worked there.
During the conversation, Zaslav did his best to calm those fears, insisting that the HBO Max programming was generally good and supported by the company in general. During the Q&A segment of the conversation, Zaslav said that HBO Max has become a brand in its own right — and one specifically associated with quality. It’s not clear what Warner Brothers Discovery will call the new combined service, but it’s certain we’ll hear more as Zaslav shakes his new company even more in the coming year.