As of this writing, Discovery, Inc. is nearly set to merge with WarnerMedia assets in a huge deal between AT&T and Discovery. While the deal is still in the works, a mashup of this size is likely to create waves in an already tumultuous industry.
It’s unclear how HBO, CNN, and other WarnerMedia properties would be organized in relation to Discovery’s streaming service Discovery+. Only the official deal and months of reorganization will get us to that point, which leaves plenty of time to consider how the parent company can adopt new entities and adapt.
CivicScience tracking of streaming services HBO and HBO Max indicate a user base of 17% of the adult population. Intent to subscribe to one or both rests at 5%. Comparatively, Discovery+, while still in its infancy, claims 12%. Consumer intent to count Discovery+ in their lineup of entertainment options is higher than HBO’s at 8%.
Usage and interest among age groups reveals easy ways to align HBO and Discovery+. Both services are most popular among Gen Xers (35 – 54), and hold near-equal sway over women. HBO has a leg up with the Gen Z audience pulling in a much greater percentage of this age group than Discovery+. But Discovery+ has a leg up in terms of intent to subscribe among each age group.
Current HBO and Discovery+ users have similar percentages of heavy TV watchers (20% and 21% respectively). The biggest difference is that Discovery+ intenders watch way more TV in a day than users of either service do. Daily total hours watching TV is likely a result of the type of content offered by each platform and the subset of the population it attracts.
While the type of content on HBO differs considerably from the content offered through Discovery+, some sort of mashup of services might make sense. On the one hand, there is the option for Gen Z and Gen X (in some cases children and their parents) to bundle and share subscriptions. On the other hand, bringing HBO into the orbit of Discovery+ could greatly increase the amount of time subscribers spend watching HBO content.