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The backstory: It's no secret that traditional cable TV has lost its mojo, and the streaming revolution is in full swing. Streaming services from companies like Warner Bros. Discovery have been taking over the market – it has over 96 million subscribers worldwide with platforms like HBO Max, HBO and Discovery+. Out of those, 55 million come from the US and Canada.
More recently: Even though several media giants have launched their own streaming services, no one has been able to come close to Netflix's incredible success. According to Nielsen, platforms like HBO Max, Peacock and Tubi have around 1.5% of TV viewership in the US, while Netflix rakes in more than five times that amount.
The development: Warner Bros. Discovery just announced the launch of its new streaming service, Max, which will roll out on May 23. It will be jam-packed with content from its portfolios like HBO Max, the DC universe, Warner Bros. films, HGTV, Food Network, Cartoon Network and TLC, to name a few. And yes, that includes a new "Harry Potter" TV series that excited Potter fans last week.
Max will have three pricing tiers, starting at US$9.99 per month with ads, US$15.99 for ad-free streaming on two devices, and US$19.99 for 4K streaming on up to four devices.
Warner Bros. Discovery is setting some big goals for Max, hoping to attract 130 million subscribers by 2025. With CNN and Turner Sports under its umbrella, news and sports programming could be added in the future. Plus, the company is using machine learning to provide even more personalized content recommendations.
"It's the one to watch," said Discovery CEO David Zaslav, referring to the service's motto, "because we have so many of the world's iconic and globally recognized franchises. It's our superpower." The streaming platform is a service "every member of the household" can go to for entertainment, he added.
"We look to go broader," said JB Perrette, head of the company's streaming business. "And we think we can compete with the biggest players in the space."
"By keeping the pricing the same, except for the new premium tier, there's no reason for anybody to churn off," said Bank of America media analyst Jessica Reif Ehrlich. "For the same price you're getting multiples of content."