The Great Merger War Has Begun

The Great Merger War

March 22, 2022

The next wave of streaming service mergers has begun. Just recently, reports on major mergers have hit the news. This includes the much-anticipated Funimation/Crunchyroll merger and bigger news on an upcoming HBO Max/Discovery+ merger. The bad news? Expect price increases with these and other potential mergers. 

Bring on the Mergers (and the Price Increases)

The streaming world is abuzz with merger news. The Crunchyroll/Funimation merger has been anticipated for nearly a year after AT&T sold Crunchyroll to Funimation. The more surprising news there is Funimation's decision to give up its name in place of adopting the Crunchyroll brand. 

What may impact more entertainment fans is the coming merger of HBO Max and Discovery+. That was a merger that was not as easy to predict and may have wide-ranging price impacts for Discovery+ users.

Who's merging right now?

As highlighted, the two biggest mergers to watch are Funimation/Crunchyroll and HBO Max/Discovery+. The former has already taken place. Funimation and Crunchyroll merged their libraries into one in March, with Funimation's library shifting over to the much-better-known Crunchyroll service. Funimation will ultimately close down shop in the coming months, but users with accounts with Funimation will have those accounts moved to Crunchyroll. 

The HBO Max/Discovery+ merger should occur sometime later in 2021. That merger is a bit more dramatic, as the two streaming services don't have any overlapping content. Instead, it'll create a robust entertainment service with a large amount of content across a wide spectrum of interests. There's no telling which brand name will hold out, but more likely than not, the HBO brand will be the victor in that merge (though an "HBO+" name change is certainly possible). 

Higher prices are coming to both

There's no way around this one. When you merge two services together and boost the amount of content, streaming service providers will use this as an excuse to raise prices...specifically to help them pay for the cost of that acquisition, as well. 

In the case of Funimation/Crunchyroll, the price increase may be a bit delayed since both services had a similar price point. Should the price on Crunchyroll increase, it'll likely be in the $2 to $3 per month range above the existing price, putting it around $11.99 to $12.99 per month. 

On the HBO Max/Discovery+ front, those two services are a world apart in pricing. Discovery+ is cheap, with a $6.99 price point, while HBO Max is $15 per month with ads and $10 per month without. After the merge, don't be surprised to see a price point touching $16 to $17 per month for the ad-free version and $12 to $13 for the with ads version

More mergers coming? 

Could more mergers be coming down the road? Time will tell. But if history is any indication, we're in merging season. Tough economic times create buying opportunities for bigger players, so don't be surprised if smaller streaming services continue to get eaten up and merged into larger ones. 

This Week's Streaming Guide

Comedian Jeff Foxworthy is back this Tuesday

Get your laughing bones ready. Jeff Foxworthy is back with a Netflix comedy special available to stream this Tuesday (Mar. 22).

Things get weird in Disney+ original series Parallels

Streaming this Wednesday (Mar. 23), this new original Disney+ series is a time travel tale with a twist. -

Paramount+ goes gamer with Halo premiere

Halo fans will have something to tune into this Thursday (Mar. 24) as the new Halo live-action series premieres on Paramount+.

Drama Pachinko premieres on Apple TV+

Available on Apple TV+ this Friday (Mar. 25), the New York Times best-selling novel turned TV show is about a Korean immigrant family's decades-long pursuit of a dream. 

News and Industry Developments

Funimation and Crunchyroll merge with Dragon Ball'

Adding Dragon Ball to the merge was an amusing play for fans. - Gizmodo

Amazon Prime Video gets thousands of videos with MGM purchase

And we're talking lots of AAA content and IPs, at that. - NPR

Cord-cutting is forcing traditional TV providers to upgrade

Many are shifting to cloud infrastructure, a boon for everyone involved. - Protocol

Netflix is cracking down on password sharing

For real this time. - TheVerge

Join the conversation

or to participate.