Warner Bros Discovery Launches Max Service In Europe, Aiming for Global Launch

Warner Bros Discovery is gearing up to launch its Max streaming service across Europe, offering a mix of popular TV shows like “The White Lotus” and movies such as “Barbie” in a bid to compete with streaming giants like Netflix and Disney.

Following the merger of WarnerMedia and Discovery, the company faced substantial debts, totaling around $44 billion.

To offset the long-term decline in its traditional broadcast TV business in the US, growth in streaming is essential. (Credits: Warner Bros. Discovery)

While about four-fifths of its sales come from the US, where the market is highly competitive, Warner Bros Discovery sees the launch of Max in Europe as an opportunity to expand into new markets with consumers who either do not have a streaming service yet or are willing to pay more for a competitor’s service.

Max will initially be available in the Nordics, Iberia, and central and eastern Europe starting in May, with further launches planned in Poland, the Netherlands, France, and Belgium. However, a streaming service in the UK will have to wait until the end of a deal with Sky in 2025.

While HBO Max and Discovery Plus are already available in some of these countries, there are variations, and in some cases, neither service is available, such as in France and Belgium.

Max was first launched in the US in May 2023 to challenge Netflix, Disney, and Amazon in the streaming market, followed by a launch in Latin America and the Caribbean earlier this year.

JB Perrette, chief executive and president of global streaming and games at Warner Bros Discovery, highlighted several new shows and live-action coverage of the Olympic Games in Paris as key drivers to attract subscriptions at launch.

In the US, subscription numbers stabilized after an initial drop, mainly due to the overlap between customers of Discovery Plus and HBO Max. According to the last set of results, the streaming service made an annual profit.

Max will offer more than double the amount of content available on HBO Max, including the second series of “House of the Dragon,” premiering in Europe in June. (Credits: Max)

Perrette expressed surprise at the speed of profitability, stating, “We didn’t think that we’d be profitable this fast.” He emphasized the importance of globalization in driving future growth.

Looking ahead, Perrette did not rule out further consolidation in the US media sector, suggesting that structural changes, such as merging sports content with rivals ESPN and Fox into a single bundle, could be on the horizon.

Warner Bros Discovery was previously linked to talks over a merger with Paramount earlier this year.

Perrette believes that in the medium to long term, there will be three or four major global streaming players, with Warner Bros Discovery being a key player.

Other new series include “The Penguin,” based on the Batman villain, “Dune: Prophecy,” and a spinoff from Stephen King’s “It.”

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
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