After days of taking precision shots in the library of its own streaming service, HBO Max, David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery went for the kill today. Speaking to investors, Zaslav revealed on a Q2 profit, call his plans to blend HBO Max and Discovery+ into one big mushy ball of content that absotively positionally, will not have bat girl movies on it.
Let’s be honest: It’s never great, in PR terms, when the graphics or language of these types of incomes call – which by their very nature boil all the art and entertainment into a thin slurry of finance credits and demerits to feed into investors’ ever-hungry maws – make the gen-pop for wider discussion. But Zaslav’s presentation was the subject of further mockery online todayespecially for a slide that claims to show the differences between the two feeds services who will now be fulfilled by their next unholy offspring.
HBO Max, we are told, is “masculine,” “scripted,” “inclined,” “date viewing,” and, of course, “home to fandoms.” Discovery+, meanwhile, is “feminine bias”, “unscripted”, “leaning back”, “comfortable viewing” and “home of genredoms” – which we’re pretty sure is when a classic sci-fi novel slams on the old sex jeans and gives you the Cgray christian treatment. The “fandom” versus “genredom” thing is mostly inscrutable, but we feel like people most would not have roasted the slipping too badly if Zaslav hadn’t opened with the whole “male mandatory” vs. “female mandatory” thing—especially since a) we can name any number of HBO Max shows with a passionate female audience (and vice versa for Discovery+), and, b), all of Discovery+’s descriptors seem precisely crafted to annoy any avid pop culture fan, like, say, the people who really care about your poor, scruffy streaming service, David.
Zaslav also posted a slide of the various assets of the twinned streaming services, including a “franchises” entry that includes Harry Potter, the DC Superhero films and, of course, the 90 day fiance Universe, a vast cosmology of marriage television products in less time than most people spend with a toothbrush. (Wait, should we change our toothbrushes more often?)
Owhich is mostly stupid, but not necessarily disappointment. But have no fear: Zaslav had a slide for that too. Specifically, he had one describing all the alleged money-losing sins perpetrated by its predecessors, including CNN+ (which now also absorbed by Discovery+). The humdinger, so to speak, is that line item (emphasis ours): “Additional expenses approved for projects with uncertain financial returns including Children & EntertainmentCNN+, some Turner Originals, and some straight-to-HBO Max feature films.) God forbid a studio spends money on TV or movies with “uncertain financial returns,” but don’t worry: Zaslav has a solution. Here’s a little advice, kids: If someone tells their investors that they’re “restructuring” the “content portfolio” of your work, it’s probably time to prepare some cover letters. The company’s chief financial officer later confirmed on the call that a good portion of the children and animation projects were on the chopping block.
Amid all the carnage, Zaslav and his team have also laid out a timeline for the merger of the two services: we can expect them to relaunch as a single entity in the summer of 2023, with no name or price. advertisement. The hybrid service is expected to launch in ad-free and ad-supported forms.