Warner Bros. Discovery higher-ups are closing in on an agreement to formally announce both a new name and a new platform for its incoming streaming service that will see both the preexisting HBO Max and Discovery+ streaming services merged into one. The merged platform is expected to be given the name “Max“, with the finalities currently being discussed and vetted by the company’s lawyers, according to a report by CNBC.
The report adds that while executives have not finalized their decision on what name the newly merged service should take, Max is the number one choice and is likely to be approved by the company execs. Internally, Warner Bros. Discovery is said to have given the new streaming service a code name, which is “BEAM”, while the final name is being debated in the boardroom, as well as other potential names for the service.
The app is reported to share similarities with the platform that supports Disney+, which will show Warner Bros. Discovery’s brands as individual icons for users to peruse, while titles from HBO, Discovery, DC Comics, and Warner Bros. will be among the initial landing hubs for consumers to select.
CNBC had previously reported that executives within WarnerMedia had long desired a new name for the combined streaming service, in part due to the belief that combining HBO with the HBO Max service, while offering a high-brow and A-list gleam, was seen to be diluting the premium offerings of HBO and, over time, making it less enticing to potential consumers. Chief Executive David Zaslav cut funding to HBO Max original series, in a bid to help reboot the HBO premium brand.
Warner Bros. Discovery has pushed up the potential launch date for the new streaming service to spring 2023, which the company announced to shareholders during its most recent earnings conference call, while Zaslav told the call that a transition team has been experimenting with changes that are designed “in large part to address some of the deficiencies of the existing platform.”
HBO Max garnered much controversy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Warner Bros. made the decision to go day-and-date with their 2021 theatrical releases, making a number of filmmakers — like Denis Villeneuve, whose Dune, a film designed purely for cinematic viewing, was available on smartphones the same day — very unhappy, as these decisions were made without consultation.
A Warner Bros. Discovery spokesperson said a name was still being discussed. Commercial-free monthly subscriptions to HBO Max and Discovery+ cost $14.99 and $6.99, respectively. They both also offer cheaper ad-supported tiers.