It's Happening—HBO Max Will Combine with Discovery Plus in 2023

Put on your finest black clothes, because it's time to mourn HBO Max. 

HBO Max has become my go-to streaming service over the past few years. I love the wide array of content from Warner Bros. films, HBO series, Studio Ghibli, and Turner Classic Movies, as well as solid originals like Station Eleven and Our Flag Means Death. 

Unfortunately, HBO Max's flag does mean death after corporate owners WarnerMedia and Discovery merged into the company that is Warner Bros. Discovery, and CEO David Zaslav started making some major changes. 

There were speculations about what would happen at the HBO offices when Zaslav announced the shift to theatrical releases after shelving Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt, ending day-and-date releases and any future “Max original” releases on the streaming service. 

'Our Flag Means Death'Credit: Warner Bros. Discovery Global Streaming & Interactive Entertainment

On Thursday afternoon, Zaslav raised the ax once again, announcing that HBO Max and Discovery Plus will be replaced with a new streaming service in the summer of 2023. 

On the earnings call on Thursday, The Verge reports that Zaslav stated, “HBO Max has a competitive feature set, but it has had performance and customer issues."

This news adds to the anxiety of the week. After the company made some questionable and major decisions that rocked the industry such as quietly removing six exclusive films from HBO Max and shifting the focus of the future streaming service to more unscripted shows. 

The Wrap, which has had its ear to the ground, reported that everyone at HBO is “freaking out” as they prepare for a purge of 70% of the employees from the HBO Max development team. 

Zaslav attempted to calm the fears by insisting that the HBO Max programming was good and supported by the company at large. This merger will not erase the brand that HBO Max has become over the past few years, but Zaslav has not made it clear what the new combined service will look like. 

The name of this new service has not been unveiled. Either way, HBO Max as we know it will be buried in the ground next year, and we can expect Zaslav to keep making more shifts in the company in the year to come. 

Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments!      

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