TV & Streaming

Warner Bros. Discovery subscribers dip slightly in Q2

Max’s debut is partly to blame.
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Sometimes, a rebrand has consequences. In its Q2 earnings, Warner Bros. Discovery said its streaming business led to a loss of subscribers, about 1.8 million, to be exact, compared to the prior quarter.

That’s in part because the debut of Max, which rolled out in May, led some people to cancel their Discovery+ subscriptions to avoid overlap.

The company’s streaming business had nearly 96 million subscribers last quarter, behind Disney’s 158 million and Netflix’s 238 million. Despite turning a profit in Q1, WBD’s streaming division posted a $3 million loss in Q2.

Still, in a Barbie-pink press release, Warner Bros. Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav said its streaming offering is “tracking well ahead of our financial projections.”

WBD’s revenue, however, fell 4% last quarter to $10 billion, and its advertising revenue fell 13% year over year. The company blamed “soft advertising markets” and “audience declines in domestic general entertainment and news networks.”

The writers’ and actors’ strikes that have frozen Hollywood (and impacted the ad market) saved Warner Bros. Discovery about $100 million, the company reported, because of lower spend on content. “We’re hopeful that all sides will get back to the negotiating room soon and that these strikes get resolved in a way that the writers and actors feel they are fairly compensated and their efforts and contributions are fully valued,” Zaslav told investors.

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