This report is based on more than 40 interviews with existing online advertisers, agencies and online properties. It highlights the main barriers to growth and sets a challenging agenda for industry participants.
Warner Bros. Discovery is grappling with declining legacy cable revenues and its $48 billion debt burden. DTC losses have attenuated but de-leveraging will be trickier post-2023 as many of the easier cost-savings have been achieved.
The US launch of its DTC offering, Max, attempts to dovetail IP from across Warner Bros., alongside Discovery's food, lifestyle and documentary programming, and soon, CNN. Adding sports may prove more challenging.
In Europe, WBD’s rational strategy would be to maintain a mixed distribution strategy, agreeing exclusive deals for its DTC platform with incumbent aggregators such as Sky.