Home Tech Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery just reinvented cable

Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery just reinvented cable

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Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery just reinvented cable

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: streaming is now just cable TV. So much so that services created to give users the content they want have now resorted to reinventing the wheel. To wit: On Wednesday, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery announced a new partnership, which will bundle Disney+, Hulu, and Max into one service. For those keeping track, it will theoretically put HBO, HGTV, Hulu, ABC, FX, CNN, Disney (i.e. Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, etc.) and the DC Extended Universe in one pile, just like than the cable. packages of yesteryear.

The new service will launch in summer. Specific details like pricing and whether or not it will be a standalone app under its own name (might we suggest DisneyMax±?) have yet to be announced, but there will be ad-free and ad-supported tiers. If it’s a standalone, one can only imagine what wild color combination it will have, but if it’s a combination of purple and that new sea green that the Disney+/Hulu service has, I’ll scream.

In addition to complicating things for those of us who make all those guides on what to watch that Jack Dorsey likes, tweet about, the new package also sets up a showdown between streaming’s old and new guard. In a strange twist, the old guard in this case are services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, the ones that got everyone to cut the cord in the first place. The newcomers are the legacy media companies that created their own streamers to try to keep up. After a shaky start, Disney finally showed signs of earning money from streaming in its quarterly earnings report this week. Meanwhile, Max has been making money for Warner Bros. Discovery for a while, even as he loses subscribers. (Ads, baby!)

Combined, the offerings from these two companies could be hard to beat, a catalog that rivals that of Netflix, which could cause some concern for the streaming giant. (Apple TV+ and Amazon could (You don’t care, but they both have other ways to make money, like shipping you things and selling you new iPads.)

A recent report from Parrot Analytics found that when the monthly cost of each streaming service is compared to the demand for its original shows and movies, Max and the Disney+/Hulu bundle are in the Top 3 best deals for your buck. The Disney package is expensive, but has a lot to offer; Max is $4 cheaper, but has less stuff. The other? Netflix’s standard plan, which at $15.49 is 50 cents less than Max, but has more on-demand content. If the new DisneyMax± (sorry, that’s its name now) bundle is priced competitively, it could be a thorn in Netflix’s side, especially as the companies release the Star Wars series. The acolyte and new seasons of the hit shows Dragon House and Bear.

One thing mysteriously missing from the Disney-WBD announcement, however, is whether this new streaming package will offer live sports. Considering the companies are teaming up (heh) with Fox Corp. to offer a sports streaming package, chances are it won’t. But as streaming consolidation continues, there’s no guarantee a similar service that includes sports won’t arrive later.

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