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The Risks and Rewards of the WarnerMedia-Discovery Merger

The streaming wars got a lot more interesting with the surprising announcement that AT&T is going to spin off WarnerMedia and combine it with Discovery, turning two of the most competitive media companies into one giant behemoth. Here is some of what is being combined, according to this article:

WarnerMedia owns assets such as HBO, Cinemax, Turner Broadcasting, and the Warner Bros. film, animation, television studios, among other media properties. And Discovery owns popular cable channels such as Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Science Channel, and TLC.

In other words, the kind of content this new company will have at its disposal is going to be massive, and could very well create one of the top-tier streamers in the world.

That is, if they don’t screw it up.

When it comes to having this much content, it can be incredibly difficult to figure out how to surface the right stuff to the right viewers, while also not diluting platforms by spacing them out too much. The equation is pretty simple: The fewer platforms that the company needs to maintain, the easier it will be to bring in new customers and retain them. But a service like Disney+ has yet to absorb Hulu, because there is too much Disney-unfriendly content to sift through, and that keeps some non-Star Wars/Marvel fans from ever considering signing up.

If HBO Max adds in the tens of thousands of content hours Discovery+ has, for example, it may become too unwieldy for a normal person. If there are already too many choices on each individual streamer, then a super giant streamer is going to lead to the ultimate choice paralysis.

This then requires a far better understanding of the content and the viewers.

By utilizing a powerful AI platform like Resonance AI, all of this content can be analyzed to find what elements they have in common. Then, by using the data from viewing habits, crucial connections can be made to find the kind of content that will resonate the best with specific audiences.

Secondly, an AI that is tracking both active content and “half-watch” content, would be able to determine viewing habits of audiences that require both, whether they need a cooking show to play in the background or a compelling limited series that they need to watch every minute of.

This merger is exciting, and there are some incredible opportunities that can be taken advantage of. But if this new media company doesn’t use tools like Resonance AI to understand their content and audience, they may end up with an embarrassment of riches.

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