The upcoming merger of HBO Max and Discovery+ is designed to replicate the experience of the cable bundle, “where you can get a wide array of programming,” HBO Max chairman/CEO Casey Bloys said during the Series Mania conference in France on Friday.
“Frankly, that is what we are seeing all the streamers doing,” he added.
The combined service will be “a one-stop location for all of your Warner Bros. Discovery content at the same price as HBO Max right now” — a product that “appeals to as many people as we can,” Bloys elaborated. “It can’t just be HBO shows, or reality shows, or whatever. It needs to be a combination for whatever mood the viewer is in.”
Warner Bros. Discovery plans to announce details of the combined service on April 12.
Bloys also said the domestic and international divisions of HBO and Discovery are now collaborating closely, including strategizing about which shows to bet on.
“The domestic operations and international operation didn’t have a lot of contact regarding programming,” he said. “For HBO, we’ve produced all over the world, with Discovery having a huge international operation, so bringing them together is one of the things that we wanted to do.”
The best-case scenario is programming that’s produced for a local market but manages to “break out” as an international hit, like Netflix’s “Squid Game,” he noted, acknowledging that “engineering” hits of any kind is always difficult, and is even more difficult on a global basis.
Series that pull this off tend to be “tentpole” series like “The Last of Us” and “House of the Dragon,” not comedies, Bloys noted.
Bloys was promoted from chief content officer to head of HBO/HBO Max in October 2022.