Warner Bros. Discovery's HBO Max Strategy Is All 'Content,' Little Art

Warner Bros. Leak Breaks Down HBO, Discovery’s Dramatically Different Audiences

A graphic leaked from within Warner Bros. breaks down the differences between HBO Max and Discovery+’s audiences.

As reported by The Daily Beast, an internal graphic revealed that HBO Max audiences are vastly different from the typical Discovery+ user. Analysis of the leaked document suggests that Warner Bros. Discovery may be implementing a strategy to lure HBO Max users into the Discovery+ fold, allowing Discovery+ to focus on its core strengths. Meanwhile, initial layoff rounds have faced criticism for disproportionally removing diversity from their executive and management staff.

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The document shows that HBO Max skews towards a racially diverse demographic, primarily consisting of single people and those who drive fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles. These users also more actively use social media, primarily TikTok and Instagram. Conversely, the social media typically used by Discovery+ viewers are Facebook and Twitter, if they’re using social media at all. This data is corroborated by statistics showing that Discovery+ viewers are primarily “empty nesters” or grandparents. Meanwhile, the typical HBO Max viewer does not have children.

Warner Bros. Discovery’s public shake-up began in August when the studio permanently canceled the nearly completed Batgirl film. As part of the cancellation decision, it was also announced that — despite a $90 million investment — the film would never see the light of day on streaming platforms. The studio faced significant backlash from fans and Hollywood figures for the cancellation, with Kevin Smith recently stated that it was “an incredibly bad look [for Warner Bros. Discovery] to cancel the Latina Batgirl movie.”

RELATED: Warner Bros.’ HBO Max Content Purge Is Saving ‘Tens of Millions’ of Dollars

The studio has not offered an official reason for Batgirl‘s cancellation, although test screenings reportedly pointed to a film that was “irredeemableSubsequent cancellations of The CW’s The Flash series and significant release date shifts for DC Films’ Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and Shazam! Fury of the Gods point to the possibility of a complete strategy shift for all DC properties moving forward under the new leadership of Warner Bros. Discovery President and CEO David Zaslav.

As many as 70 employees have been laid off from the HBO Max platform as of August, including entire development teams dedicated to unscripted, international, and family/children content. Anonymous former staff members have pointed out that the layoffs have disproportionally affected non-white employeesthus amplifying “the lack of diversity at HBO,” according to one former executive, adding, “A lot of black and brown people lost their jobs.

In response, HBO pointed to content such as Euphoria, Rap Sh!t, A Black Lady Sketch Showand Los Espookys, all of which feature diverse casts and crews. It remains to be seen what the streaming platform will look like once all the cuts have been tallied, but one laid-off executive told The Daily Beast, “Don’t be surprised if there’s a new name for the platform.”

Source: The Daily Beast

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