Media Unleashed

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A Shakeup for Big Streamers

By: Seth Klein    September 30, 2022

There’s been a lot of change lately with Warner Media, the company in charge of Warner Bros. Studios and HBO Max. After being sold by AT&T to Discovery, the two companies officially merged in April 2022 – a big shakeup that’s already causing a shift in the streaming industry.

The new CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav, announced that the company will take a step back from a “streaming first approach” to focus more on theatrical and traditional TV programming. Additionally, Warner Bros. Discovery will shift their streaming content toward unscripted programming rather than scripted shows. This is a big shift for a service said to be most satisfying in a recent streaming report.

However, the merger has caused a fair number of problems for the juggernaut streaming service. Zaslav said that he would like to cut $3 billion in costs to help offset the merger. As a result, users are seeing content disappear from the platform; in total, 36 movies and TV series have been removed. The company also canceled the upcoming HBO Max release of “Batgirl” and “Scoob! Holiday Haunt,” two movies that were nearing completion. These cancellations seem to be centered around kid-focused and animated content, as these were the types of programs that didn’t perform as well on the platform.

Zaslav also announced that HBO Max and Discovery+ will merge into a singular streaming service in the summer of 2023. At this time, the company has not released any name, pricing information or advertising capabilities for this service. Warner Bros. Discovery has also said the company will release an additional, free streaming service that is supported by advertising. No further information is available about this unnamed platform, either.