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Size Matters: HBO Max and Discovery+ Already Surpass Netflix, Disney in Number of Titles | Chart
The merged company will only trail Amazon Prime Video in the size of its on-demand library
Does size matter? When it comes to streaming, Warner Bros. Discovery is banking on it, with the new media giant’s content library now matching — even surpassing — its chief rivals in the number of titles offered.
New data from Ampere Analysis shows WarnerMedia and Discovery’s decision to merge last month will give the combined company the second-biggest content library around. To get there, Warner Bros. Discovery will leapfrog both Netflix and the combined catalog of Disney+ and Hulu, both of which fall under Disney’s streaming umbrella.
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The key figures: 4,300 unique titles from Discovery+ will join 3,500 unique titles from HBO Max in the U.S., bringing the new firm to 7,800 titles overall. That edges out the 7,200 titles currently offered by Netflix in the U.S., as well as the nearly 7,000 titles on both Hulu and Disney+. Warner Bros. Discovery will only trail Amazon Prime Video in subscription video on-demand content libraries.
Amazon leads with 15,104 unique titles, according to Ampere’s tally — an advantage that is poised to grow after it completes its acquisition of MGM later this year.
This chart should make it a bit easier to process:
While Warner Bros. Discovery has the content to compete with the big boys, it’s still unclear how that content will be distributed. HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s linchpin streaming service, features classic TV shows from “The Sopranos” to “Friends,” as well as a mountain of movies and documentaries; Discovery+ has an array of shows from Animal Planet, HGTV and History Channel, among other channels.
One possibility is creating a “super platform” that combines the two streaming services, as Ampere analyst Rahul Patel told TheWrap. But that approach could create challenges since HBO Max is already on the higher end of price when it comes to streaming services, at $14.99 per month. Piling Discovery’s content onto HBO Max or a new, combined service could “potentially alienate” consumers, Patel said, because they are drawing different types of consumers.
“The consumers for one service might not necessarily go for the content on the other service,” Patel said. “The idea of a bundle, or perhaps ad-supported tiers playing a larger role, is what we should be looking for in the future as they join entities.”
Omdia Senior Analyst Sarah Henschel agreed, suggesting that bundling the two streaming services would mirror Disney’s plan — with Disney+ for family content, ESPN+ for sports and Hulu for more adult content (particularly after the media giant’s acquisition of Fox).
HBO Max’s “higher-tier content” and Discovery’s slate of TV and reality programming are “really complementary,” Henschel told TheWrap. But throwing it all on one expensive streaming service could lead to pushback, she said. Instead, she said, giving viewers a few streaming options with different price points is a better bet for the new company.
Whichever way it goes, Warner Bros. Discovery’s content archive is big enough to join Netflix, Amazon and Disney in a “Mega 4” of top streamers, Henschel added.
Peacock, Paramount+, Starz and other services are out there, but they don’t have the size to be major players, at least right now. HBO Max and Discovery, with 44 million and 13 million subscribers, respectively, were in the same boat before announcing a merger.
Even together, they still trail Disney+ (103.6 million), Amazon Prime Video (175 million) and Netflix (207.6 million) in subscribers. But the newly beefed-up content library should give Warner Bros. Discovery a better chance of narrowing the gap.