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Warner Bros. Discovery Eyeing Launch of FAST Channels Streaming Platform in 2023 Featuring Catalog Content

Witnessing the success of Paramount Global’s Pluto TV, and Fox Entertainment’s Tubi service, Warner Bros. Discovery wants in on the AVOD/FAST bandwagon.

The media giant plans to launch an AVOD/FAST streaming service in 2023 where catalog TV shows and some originals could resonate with viewers while driving incremental advertising revenue.

Speaking on a Nov. 3 fiscal call, CEO David Zaslav said the platform underscores the company’s ability to appeal to consumers across all distribution channels, while maximizing the overall value of content through an omnichannel distribution and monetization strategy.

“The fact is, we cover more surface area than any other media company,” he said. “And that optionality allows us to distribute content in multiple ways. We have a unique opportunity to increase our addressable market and drive real value.”

With rivals Pluto TV and Tubi ramping up monthly viewership into the millions, and Tubi streaming hours topping 1.3 billion in the most-recent fiscal quarter, in addition to ad revenue surpassing legacy Fox Entertainment linear TV, Zaslav contends replicating that AVOD strategy within the Warner Bros. Discovery ecosystem is a no brainer.

Specifically, Zaslav wondered why entire libraries of some shows are on and paid-for by HBO Max, when in reality only about 15 to 20 series are actually appealing to subscribers.

“If none of [some catalog shows] is being used [on Max], why aren’t we putting it on an AVOD [service] where it will be used?” he asked. “We looked at what people are watching on Pluto and Tubi: They’re loving ‘Rawhide’ and ‘Bonanza.’ They’re not watching old series like [the original] ‘Dynasty’ on Max. There is a platform where people have an expectation and what they want to watch, and we’ve been able to get a real vision into what people are consuming and ultimately that gives us a roadmap [into AVOD].”

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