Max, Disney+ and Hulu Bundle Allows Streamers to Get Back Into Their ‘Lanes’ During Contraction, WBD Streaming Exec Says

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Warner Bros. Discovery will be doubling down on bundling in the coming months: In addition to the previously announced sports bundle with ESPN and Fox, the media company announced a streaming bundle with Disney and Hulu on Wednesday.

When asked why the company is making this particular bet, WBD heads emphasized being able to return to its “lanes.”

“The key for us is we need to be prominent in all the major bundles,” David Zaslav, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, said during the company’s first quarter earnings call for 2024. “We want to be in front of all consumers.”

JB Perette, the CEO and president of global streaming and games for Warner Bros. Discovery, noted that in the 2010s, the industry “went down in a very dangerous, financial path” of companies trying to create every type of content for every type of consumer.

“At the end of the day, we know where that lead,” Perette said. “We’re now getting back to all being great at what we do and swim in the lanes that we are great at.”

The executive went on to praise Disney as the “incomparable … world leader” in kids and family and noted that Warner Bros. Discovery’s properties are a leader in premium drama, scripted drama, comedy and nonfiction.

“We can get back to investing in prioritizing our lanes and our key content, they can do theirs. Synthetically, these bundles allow us to do that while still providing the consumer with a very attractive price for the combination of products,” Perette continued. “Even if [the consumers] don’t use a service in one month, they still feel like they get great value, and they might use it the next month.”

Zaslav went on to say that this shift to bundling feels like a “moment” in terms of what the next two years in the industry will bring. He likened the shift to the rise of cable in the 2000s.

“Ultimately, I think the business will look very different in two to three years and it will be much better for the consumer,” Zaslav said.

The CEO said that the industry has learned “somewhat painfully” that the expense and the excess of content from trying to create content for all kinds of consumers “was way too much.”

“This allows us to come back. When you see that package together, you have the greatest offering of kids and family content, the greatest offering of adult fare, the greatest offering of scripted and non-scripted content,” Zaslav said.

When it comes to the recently announced bundle with Disney+ and Hulu, Zaslav said that he doesn’t believe the bundle requires any other company or offerings to be “incredibly compelling.” He then praised Amazon an Netflix as being “incredibly compelling” with “great offerings” and likened them to utilities. Moving forward, he also speculated that Warner Bros. Discovery’s bundles will put “more pressure” on independent services when it comes to subscriber churn.

“Our bundle plus one or two of those other services pretty much, I think, can make up the entertainment experience for most consumers very happily,” Zaslav said.

Announced earlier this week, the Max, Disney+ and Hulu bundle will be available this summer. Little is known about its specifics, but it will include an option with ads as well as an ad-free plan. Channels and brands such as ABC, CNN, DC, Discovery, Disney, Food Network, FX, HBO, HGTV, Hulu, Marvel, Pixar, Searchlight and Warner Bros. will be part of the offering. The news came on the heels of the launch of Hulu on Disney+.

Several unknowns also linger above the Fox, Warner Bros. Discovery and Disney sports team-up, which will put ESPN, TNT and Fox Sports on a standalone app. The offering, which is set to be released in the fall, will be equally owned by the three companies. The app’s price point and offerings will be announced at a later date.

The post Max, Disney+ and Hulu Bundle Allows Streamers to Get Back Into Their ‘Lanes’ During Contraction, WBD Streaming Exec Says appeared first on TheWrap.