The Desk appreciates the support of readers who purchase products or services through links on our website. Learn more...

WBD reduces streaming loss to $3 million after merger of services

Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) says it was able to reduce losses in its direct-to-consumer streaming business after merging content from its cornerstone HBO Max service with the lifestyle and knowledge shows from Discovery Plus.

On Thursday, WBD reported its streaming sector had 95.8 million subscribers around the world as of June 30, which includes customers of its newer service Max as well as those who are still taking Discovery Plus or some global variant thereof.

The figure was down 1.8 million from the 97.6 million reported during the first financial quarter of the year, which ended March 31, but executives attributed the loss to some customers choosing to unify their HBO Max and Discovery Plus subscriptions by simply paying for Max.

The subscriber loss was lower than some Wall Street estimates, which put the number around 3 to 4 million subscribers.

Streaming revenue rose to $2.73 billion, about $3 million short of helping WBD break even for the period. WBD said gains in its streaming advertising business helped offset content production, distribution and marketing costs associated with that business.

WBD’s studio business dragged down the company’s overall revenue, which clocked in at $10.36 billion for Q2, about $80 million less than what financial analysts had hoped for. The film studio’s recent theatrical hit, “Barbie,” debuted after its second financial quarter ended; the company is expected to reveal how much the film helped its overall business when it releases its third quarter financial results in early to mid-November.