It’s (it’s going to be) big. HBO Max and Discovery Plus will not be sold as a bundle. Instead, Warner Bros. Newly formed Discovery (once the merger is approved) will sell them in one mega-streaming service.
Yes, HBO Max and Discovery Plus will not go the way of the Disney Plus bundle, where you can add Hulu and ESPN Plus for additional savings. Instead, they’re going to be merged into one service – although you can also get ad-free and ad-lite versions of this new service to name. Hopefully the price won’t be too high. We guess a much higher price would reduce its place in our top streaming service rankings.
This news comes to us via Variety, which reports that Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels made some sort of announcement today (March 14) at Deutsche Bank. The change won’t happen until after the Warner Bros. deal closes. Discovery, which is expected to take place between mid and late April.
HBO Max and Discovery Plus pricing
Both services currently offer an ad-free and ad-supported tier, and that’s something to look into when trying to determine potential new pricing. As you can see below, the ad-free versions of both total $21.98 per month when purchased separately, and the ad-supported versions total $14.98 per month.
|HBO Max||Discovery More|
|Monthly price without advertising||$14.99||$6.99|
|Ad-supported monthly price||$9.99||$4.99|
Analysis: What should this new service cost?
If there is a price hike for the combined service (and we expect there will be), it will likely alienate and push away HBO Max and Discovery Plus subscribers. This is why bundles are a popular way to sell multiple services at once. Not everyone who pays for Hulu wants Disney Plus, and not everyone who pays for Disney Plus wants ESPN Plus.
So we think the price of the new service probably shouldn’t be too high. Since I personally can’t see myself ever using Discovery Plus, I’m trying to figure out how much I would afford a price increase while still keeping the new service. I would say the new ad-free tier should be under $20, while the ad-supported version should be under $13.
Either way, this kind of price hike will only cause users to unsubscribe and resubscribe, as explained in my colleague Kelly Woo’s story of how she cut the cable cord, but still overpays for streaming and mine series of articles on Netflix’s cancellation and return.
Will there be a way to avoid this price increase?
HBO Max currently offers annual plans of $149.99 and $99.99 per year (ad-free and ad-supported, respectively), which offer savings of 16%. These plans are probably your best bet for locking down HBO Max at the current rate, but that’s unconfirmed.