Earlier this year, we learned that Warner Bros. Discovery has been planning a free streaming service. Since that announcement, Warner Bros. Discovery has gone dark on the service, focusing more on news about Max. So what should we expect from it? What will it offer? What is taking so long for the service to launch?
Here is everything we know about WBTV the new free streaming service to compete with Pluto TV, Tubi, Xumo Play, and more.
Why launch a free streaming service?
Pluto TV has been very successful not only at getting ad revenue but also in promoting Paramount+. Often older seasons of hit shows are offered free to get you hooked, only to make you pay to see the new seasons. Now Warner Bros. Discovery reportedly wants a similar model for themselves. By offering some of its content for free it likely hopes to drive subscriptions to Max.
Warner Bros. Sidcovery is also likely hoping to get some of the growing ad-supported TV markets to help raise cash. Using older content to drive ad revenue could be a win-win for the company. For little effort once the service is built Warner Bros. Discovery could package older content here and help it promote Max.
For now, that is all we know. Hopefully, soon we will learn more as the WBTV service gets closer to launch.
What will the WBTV service have to offer?
Warner Bros. Discovery has a vast back catalog of content from Discovery, Scripps, and Warner Bros. programs to build a service on. Discovery reportedly plans to follow Pluto TV’s model by offering a collection of new and older content to help attract subscribers to Max.
Look for the service to rely heavily on older content with a mix of newer shows. The main goal will likely be like Pluto TV as a way to generate revenue and promote Warner Bros. Discovey’s paid services like Max.
If Warner Bros. Discovery’s recent deals with The Roku Channel and Tubi are any examples, you will find a collection of old HBO programming available in the WBTV app.
So why air new shows on a free streaming service? Pluto TV often airs Paramount+ programming to help attract new subscribers to the service before a new season is released. WBTV will likely have some new programming from Max to try and attract new subscribers.
When Will WBTV Launch?
Warner Bros. Discovery has been very tight-lipped on its plans for WBTV. The recent deals with Tubi and The Roku Channel suggest that they don’t plan to release the service anytime soon.
During Warner Bros. Discovery’s earnings call, CEO and president for global streaming and games JB Perrette addressed their plans to launch WBTV as a free streaming service.
“We will continue to look to see if we can increase that volume for a second-, third, fourth monetization window for certain content,” Mr. Perrette said. “And we will continue to explore the owned-and-operated strategy. And at some point in time longer term we do see the opportunity for this WBTV brand and platform to exist in an owned-and-operated environment.”
“We want to make sure that we come to market at the right time when the demand is sufficient,” Mr. Perrette said during the earnings call. “But we will continue to execute this hybrid strategy of syndicated channels initially, and then over time, at the right time, launch our own service.”
Sadly, for now, that is all we know about when WBTV will launch. Warner Bros. Discovery seems to be very committed to launching a free service. For now, though, they seem happy to partner with services like Tubi and The Roku Channel in the short term as they look at WBTV as a long-term project.