Warner Bros. Discovery, the parent company of streaming services HBO Max and Discovery+, recently announced they will rebrand HBO Max to “Max”, while folding Discovery+ content into the Max library. The move is positioned as a way for Warner Bros.’ flagship streaming service to widen its viewership to a more family- and kid-friendly audience. It can also be seen through a competitive lens as a move to compete more directly with Disney+, which currently has more than double the number of subscribers vs. HBO Max. The question still remains: will this new strategy help Max bring in the new audience they are seeking and compete with other platforms?
According to Attain’s real-time transaction data, folding in Discovery+ could indeed help Max, as a single service, reach a larger, broader audience. Today, over 60% of Discovery+ subscribers do not also purchase HBO Max, meaning there is significant opportunity for net-new eyeballs making their way to the new Max platform. Additionally, the current Discovery+ subscriber base is substantially different demographically, compared to HBO Max. Compared to HBO Max, Discovery+ subscribers are much more likely to be older (Gen X and Boomers), White/Caucasian, higher income, female, families with kids, and homeowners: precisely the family-oriented audience Max wants to reach.
In addition, compared to HBO Max subscribers, Discovery+ subscribers are almost 10% more likely to indicate heavy TV watching behavior (5+ hours per day). Not only will Max have the opportunity to bring in net-new, demographically differentiated subscribers, but those new subscribers may also watch more volume of content.
At the end of the day, it remains to be seen whether this move will help Warner Bros. Discovery gain an edge in the cut-throat streaming wars. However, looking at the move through the lens of Attain’s first-party consumer purchase data indicates they just might be on to something.