Warner Bros. Discovery CFO calls company’s HBO Max and Discovery+ ‘underpriced,’ suggesting price hikes may be coming


‘House of the Dragon’ series logo displayed on a phone screen and HBO Max website are seen in this illustration photo taken on August 16, 2022.

Jakub Porzycki | Nurphoto | Getty Images

Streaming service subscriber growth may be slowing, but that doesn’t mean prices won’t keep rising.

HBO Max and Discovery+, Warner Bros. Discovery’s two flagship streaming services, are “fundamentally underpriced,” Chief Financial Officer Gunnar Wiedenfels said during Tuesday’s Goldman Sachs Communacopia Tech Conference.

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Wiedenfels suggested the company had ample room to raise prices given the strength of content on the services, which will be merged into one next year. Last month, Warner Bros. Discovery said it planned to launch a combined HBO Max-Discovery+ service in the U.S. in mid-2023, with international markets to follow.

While Warner Bros. Discovery hasn’t announced how it will price a combined service, Wiedenfels’ comments suggests the company may use the merging as a chance to raise prices. HBO Max is currently $14.99 per month without ads and $9.99 per month with commercials. Discovery+ is $6.99 per month without ads and $4.99 per month with commercials.

Wiedenfels noted HBO Max won more Emmys (38) this week than any other streaming service. HBO’s “The White Lotus” snared the most awards during the Primetime ceremony with five, including Outstanding Limited Series. Warner Bros. Discovery’s strategy is to combine HBO’s award-winning programming with Discovery’s lighter reality content, which should reduce “churn,” or the amount of people who cancel the service, Wiedenfels said.

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