WBD steadies the ship in Q4, 2022, claiming “strong momentum”

The Last of Us

Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) has reported revenues of $11 billion for Q4, 2022, down 11%, citing weaker advertising revenues as a key contributing factor. For the full year, the company saw a drop to $33.8bn – down 5% year on year. The markets appeared satisfied with the results, responding with a 2% rise in share price

All eyes were on the performance of the company’s global streaming business, designated as direct-to-consumer in the WBD results. Here the company saw a modest rise in subscribers, up 1.1m to 96.1m from Q3, 2022 to Q4, 2022. DTC revenues rose by 5% to $7.3bn for the full year, but losses were still running at around the $1.6bn mark. WBD said the performance of the DTC division was “helped in part by the re-launch of HBO Max on Amazon Channels in December 2022”.

Despite the tough headwinds, CEO & president David Zaslav declared himself pleased with the results and ready for a stronger 2023/24. “With the major restructuring decisions behind us, this year we are focused on building and growing our businesses for the future, and we’re off to a great start. We’re seeing strong momentum across the enterprise, including our exciting long-term plans for DC Studios, the historic success of our latest HBO series The Last of Us, the significant financial and operating gains in DTC, and the record sales of our newest game Hogwarts Legacy. We believe we have re-positioned our businesses to take advantage of the opportunities ahead.”

During an earnings call, Zaslav discussed the surprise decision to keep streaming service Discovery+ as a standalone brand in the US, counter to expectations that it would be folded into a new super streamer. Describing the decision as a financial one, he said: “We have profitable subscribers who are very happy with the product offering of Discovery+ Plus. Why would we shut that off?” He also revealed that viewing patterns on the streamer are very distinct from those on sister service HBO Max.

WBD is planning an event on April 12, at which the leadership team will lay out its rebranding strategy for the company’s unified streaming business

Read Next