Ad-supported and ad-free products will be part of the strategy, streaming head JB Perrette said
HBO Max and Discovery Plus, brought together when Discovery acquired WarnerMedia, are still likely to be combined, the newly combined Warner Bros. Discovery told media buyers.
“In the not-too-distant future, we see a unique possibility to bring all these incredible stories and brands that shape culture, that delight, amaze and inform global consumers, and bring home these remarkable moments across all these genres, in one, awesome global streaming product,” JB Perrette, Warner Bros. Discovery’s head of global streaming, said at the company‘s upfront in New York Wednesday.
Chief financial officer Gunnar Wiedenfels described a similar plan to investors in March. After the upfront, Perrette told Broadcasting+Cable the company wasn’t ready to discuss a more exact timetable for bringing the services together.
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“The winners in the streaming business are those companies that can provide the biggest global consumer base with the greatest stories from brands that act as curators for clear and compelling propositions across a diverse set of genres that provide the broadest choice, and yet all delivered in a simple and personalized consumer experience that makes it easy to discover and enjoy,” Perrette told the upfront. “We believe that with the potential of HBO Max and Discovery Plus, we are uniquely positioned to do just that.”
The WBD upfront showed off its brands, including HBO, Harry Potter, Looney Tunes, Cartoon Network, CNN, Discovery, Food Network, HGTV, the Olympics and the NBA.
“While we’re continuing to develop our strategic plans, we believe we can deliver all this goodness at a great value for consumers,” Perrette said.
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WBD’s strategy will be to offer consumers both ad-free and ad-supported products at attractive prices. The Walt Disney Co. recently announced an ad-supported version of Disney Plus, and Netflix is working on its own tier with ads.
“One of the distinct advantages we have is that we were an early proponent of this model and have been in the market already with well-established, ad-light products,” Perrette said. ■