Warner Bros reported a total of 92.1 million direct-to-consumer subscribers across HBO, HBO Max, and Discovery plus for the second quarter. This was up 1.7 million from the previous quarter when the company reported 90.4 million subscribers.
While the company failed to report the streaming services’ numbers individually making the exact number of HBO Max and Discover plus subscriptions unknown, Warner Bros reported a loss of 300,000 domestic subscribers. This is a decrease from 53.3 million to 53 million.
The company had reported a combined 76.8 million HBO and HBO Max subscribers while Discovery plus had 24 million subscribers. That ran into a total of more than 100 million subscribers. The differences in this quarter’s numbers and the last is due to how former owner AT&T counted wireless customers on plans that bundled HBO Max.
In its shareholders’ letter, Warner Bros Discovery wrote that “The new definition resulted in the exclusion of 10 million legacy Discovery non-core subscribers and unactivated AT&T mobility subscribers from the Q1 subscriber count.”
The company also revealed during its earnings call that the upcoming combined streaming service will launch in the US in the summer of 2023. The streaming service will also be launched that same year in Latin America. European markets and Asia Pacific territories will follow in 2024.
The company said it is exploring a free ad-supported tier. “Once our SVOD service is firmly established in the market, we see real potential and are exploring the opportunity for a fast or free ad-supported streaming offering that will give consumers who do not want to pay a subscription fee access to great library content, while at the same time serving as an entry point to our premium service,” the company stated.
In the Q2 results, Warner Bros. Discovery said it re-extended its agreement with AT&T. “AT&T continues to be an important partner, and we are thrilled that HBO Max will continue to be part of AT&T internet and mobility plans,” Scott Miller, Executive Vice President, Distribution, Warner Bros. Discovery, said in a statement.
Andrew Slaven, Executive Vice President, Global Investor Strategy, also added during the earnings call that “We’ve been able to dig deeper into the financials and have gained a much better, more complete picture of where we are and the path forward, including identifying some additional and unexpected challenges that have and will continue to acquire our focus and attention. The upside is that there is even more room for improvement and cost savings.”
The company also announced the cancellations of some of its titles such as Batgirl, Scoob: Holiday Haunt, The Witches, Superintelligence, Locked Down, etc. This means millions of dollars down the drain.
The company’s CEO has been emphasizing “smart spending.” Concerned parties, however, think that the CEO may be too focused on making the books look better instead of providing the content that subscribers love and what keeps them coming back for more. “We’re confident we’re on the right path to meet our strategic goals and really excel, both creatively and financially, and couldn’t be more excited about the future of our company,” CEO David Zaslav wrote in the shareholders’ letter.