With theaters and cable providers struggling to entice customers, streaming platforms like Netflix, Paramount Plus, and Disney+ continue to create new content and dominate the entertainment industry. In April, seeking to expand their brand, WarnerMedia announced they were merging with Discovery. More importantly, the companies combined HBO Max and Discovery+. Even before finalizing the merger, Chief Financial Officer Gunnar Wiedenfels admitted that an HBO Max/Discovery+ platform was on the horizon. While no specific date was given, HBO Max users quickly noticed a slew of original content no longer on the platform. Now, with some canceling their subscriptions due to the growing pains, Warner Bros. Discovery decided to offer 30% off their annual membership.
Although most people opt to pay month to month, giving them the freedom to cancel any time, those who wish to stand with HBO Max for the next year might find it lucrative to take Warner Bros. Discovery up on their offer. Before the discount, users paid a whopping $149.99 for a year of HBO Max without the ads. If ads are included, the number drops to $99.99. But with the 30% off, HBO fans only pay $104.99 for no ads and $69.99 with ads. And for those who find themselves on the fence when it comes to HBO Max, the offer extends to both new and existing customers. Only offered in the United States, the new promo runs through October 30, 2022.
Chief Content Officer Explains HBO Max Layoffs
Besides cutting original content from HBO Max, Chief Content Officer for HBO, Casey Bloys, recently sent out an email about the employees laid off as a result of their restructuring. The drastic shift in employees saw around 14% or 70 staffers lose their job.
In the email to HBO employees, current and former, Casey Bloys wrote, “First, I want to thank and acknowledge all of you for the unparalleled, incredible work you’ve done across all of our programming efforts. This team has achieved successes over an unprecedented stretch of challenges—from 140 Emmy nominations across our brand to the recent coverage celebrating HBO Max as one of the best streaming services in the market. I commend your focus and commitment to excellence through these very uncertain times.”
Not placing the blame for the layoffs on the performance of HBO Max, Casey Bloys insisted the change comes due to an ever-evolving environment around streaming. “Unfortunately, the environment in which we operate is changing rapidly, and it is up to us to continue to refine our model to chart a course for long term success. As you heard from David Zaslav during our last earnings call, producing top-tier HBO/Max scripted content is crucial to WBD’s future. Part of this process involves an honest assessment of what we need moving forward.”
Shows and movies that saw themselves stripped from HBO Max included Batgirl, Scoob!: Holiday Haunt, The Witches, and Moonshot.