Warner Bros. Discovery opts to keep Discovery+ as a standalone service
Yahoo Finance media correspondent Allie Canal joins Yahoo Finance Live to discuss WBD's plans to keep Discovery+ as a standalone streaming service, while also talking about Netflix's new account sharing policies outside the United States.
DAVE BRIGGS: Ditching plans to consolidate its content onto one app, Warner Brothers Discovery is shifting strategies, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The media giant will be keeping Discovery+ as a standalone streaming service. For more, we're joined by Yahoo Finance's Allie Canal. So why this decision?
ALLIE CANAL: So, apparently, they don't want to risk losing a chunk of those Discovery+ subscribers, which, right now, are about 20 million. Now they're still going to have this new combo service that's expected to launch sometime in the spring with HBO Max content and most of Discovery+ content, but they're also going to keep that standalone Discovery+ service. Wells Fargo estimated that the overlap between HBO Max and Discovery+ is 4 million in the US.
And with this new platform, it's widely expected to be called Max. We don't have pricing on it at the moment. But if you take a look at the pricing of both HBO Max and Discovery+, it's probably going to be a little more. HBO Max costs 16 bucks a month, or $10 with ads. Discovery+ is $7 a month, $5 with ads. So we'll just have to wait and see. But I don't know. This company, to me, it seems like things are messy right now, you know? It's just like, they don't know what to name it.
DAVE BRIGGS: That's what investors think.
ALLIE CANAL: They don't want to roll out the-- they're just back and forth all the time.
DAVE BRIGGS: And the stock falling about 5% today on this-- perhaps on this news or the disorganization.
ALLIE CANAL: I reached out to Warner Brothers. They did not even get back to me, so it just seems like it's all over the place right now.
DAVE BRIGGS: Rhetoric at the moment.
SEANA SMITH: Yes, it certainly is all over the place, so a bit messy, that is safe to say. All right, Allie, as we're talking about these streaming wars, Netflix cracking down, expanding its crackdown that we've been talking about on passwords. Four more countries added to the list?
ALLIE CANAL: Four more countries. That's going to include Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, and Spain as of today. And this comes after that meltdown we saw last week where Netflix unintentionally updated their help page that listed some of the password sharing crackdown.
And I just got to say, I've received so many emails from concerned Netflix subscribers. Like, I'm talking lengthy-- like, I'm now the Netflix therapist because they just don't know what the answer is. And there's a lot of questions out there, too. If you own multiple homes, if you're a snowbird, how do you set your primary location?
So it seems like Netflix is going to have to answer to a lot of this. We do have potentially a little hint at what it would cost to add members that are outside of your household. For example, if you want to add an extra member to your account, you can add up to two people that you don't live with for an extra $7.99 Canadian per month in Canada. So you have to think it might be roughly the same in the US, but I'm just thinking about I'm one of three kids. If there is only two spots--
SEANA SMITH: Do you still use your parents' network?
ALLIE CANAL: Of course I do!
SEANA SMITH: Oh, my goodness.
ALLIE CANAL: Are you kidding me? Of course I do.
SEANA SMITH: Actually, I think I'm the only sibling in my family-- I'm one of five-- I think I'm the only one that doesn't use their parents'.
DAVE BRIGGS: Is that right?
SEANA SMITH: Yep.
DAVE BRIGGS: I'll tell you, investors may like it in the long run. This is going to be really ugly in the short-term.
ALLIE CANAL: And analysts like it, too. I mean, you talk to all of them. They say Netflix had to do this, but I mean, we'll see.
SEANA SMITH: Certainly getting some backlash online on social media, that is for sure.
DAVE BRIGGS: It's not even here yet.
SEANA SMITH: I know. It's not even here.
DAVE BRIGGS: And the backlash is here.
SEANA SMITH: So just wait until it actually comes to the US. All right, Allie Canal, thanks so much.