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 on news about Max. What is the delay? Will the service ever launch?
Here is everything we know about WBTV, the free new streaming service to compete with Pluto TV, Tubi, Xumo Play, and others.
What will the WBTV service 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 attract subscribers to Max.
Look for the service to rely heavily on older content with a mix of newer shows. The goal will likely be like Pluto TV—a way to generate revenue and promote Warner Bros. Discovery’s paid services like Max.
If Warner Bros. Discovery’s recent deals with The Roku Channel and Tubi are any example, 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 attract new subscribers to the service before a new season is released. WBTV will likely have some new programming from Max to attract new subscribers too.
When will WBTV launch?
Warner Bros. Discovery has been tight-lipped about 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.”
Warner Bros. Discovery seems far from being ready to launch its free ad-supported streaming service. In recent weeks they have made multiple deals with other free ad-supported services like Freevee.
Will the service launch? Right now, Warner Bros. Discovery has stated they plan to still launch but only when the time is right.