The Discovery+ app will continue to exist alongside a new, combined HBO Max and Discovery service.
Warner Bros Discovery has had a change of heart on the closure of its Discovery+ streaming app. It will continue to run the app on TVs and mobile devices, even after the launch of its new, combined service.
The studio plans to launch a new service this spring that offers content from HBO Max and Discovery+, and was originally set to ditch the individual apps in the process. However, it seems that Discovery+ has too big a user base in the US that might not be willing to pay extra for HBO shows.
The Wall Street Journal reports that executives were worried they might lose many of the 20 million Discovery+ paid subscribers in the transition. But, there doesn’t seem to be any similar concerns over existing HBO Max subscribers.
Engadget received confirmation of the altered plan from a Warner spokesman, Jeff Cusson: “Our plan for the enhanced platform that will bring together HBO Max and Discovery+ content remains unchanged.
“In addition, we have decided to keep the lower-priced offering of Discovery+ in the US marketplace.”
Certainly, its closure didn’t seem to make much sense considering the app has relatively low operating costs yet turns a profit. Its content is also quite specific, with nature documentaries and reality-based programming. It has a clearly different audience to HBO Max, which focuses more on dramas, like The Last of Us and Game of Thrones, and comedy shows.
The merger is also unlikely to affect the Discovery+ app outside the States. In fact, it is only really starting to gain traction in territories like the UK, where it has recently become part of a bundle deal with Sky TV packages.
Sky Glass, Sky Q and Sky Stream subscribers in the UK and Ireland can access the service for free. It usually costs £6.99 / €6.99 per month.
The European version of Discovery+ recently aired Australian Open tennis matches live, while Warner Bros Discovery has partnered with BT Sport in the UK to launch a new premium sports broadcast service in the coming months.