Why is HBO Max becoming Max? Streaming platform explained

HBO Max logo turning into the Max logoHBO Max

Say goodbye to HBO Max, because the platform will soon go by another name: Max, an “enhanced streaming service” – here’s everything you need to know.

Watching things used to be simpler. If you wanted to see a new movie, you went to the cinema. If you didn’t catch it in theaters, you rented it from Blockbuster or took a gamble on the DVD.

Now, we have so many streaming platforms: Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, Apple TV, Paramount+, Hulu, Peacock, and more. If you want to keep up with the shows and films everyone’s watching, you need to fork out a lot of money each month for all of your subscriptions.

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The streaming market is oversaturated, but some platforms have started to merge – so, here’s why HBO Max is becoming Max.


Why is HBO Max becoming Max?

HBO Max is relaunching as Max, which will consolidate the streaming platform’s library with Discovery+ content following the Warner Bros. Discovery merger.

The name change was announced during the latest investors’ call on April 12. “This is a real moment for us… this is our time. This is our chance, and everything is possible… I feel like, for our company, this is our rendezvous with destiny,” CEO David Zaslav said, as per Deadline.

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The $43 billion merger has had its fair share of collateral damage since the deal closed: Batgirl was shelved despite having already wrapped production, and a large number of shows and movies were canceled to save money.

According to JB Perrette, President and CEO of Global Streaming and Games, it’s hoped Max will be able to stand out “in a sea of streaming services… in this era of peak confusion, we’re trying to simplify and improve the experience for consumers.”

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“This new brand signals an important change from two narrower products, HBO Max and Discovery+, to our broader content offering and consumer proposition. While each product offered something for some people, Max will have a broad array of quality choices for everybody,” Perrette added.

When is Max launching?

Max will launch on May 23, 2023.

On launch day, according to a press release, “a large portion of subscribers will have their apps automatically updated to Max. Others will need to download the updated Max app to access the expanded catalog.”

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Where is Max available?

Max will be exclusively available in the US at launch.

“We’ll then begin rolling out in international markets where HBO Max is currently available, starting with Latin America later in 2023, followed by select countries across Europe and Asia in 2024,” a press release reads.

UK viewers shouldn’t expect it any time soon. HBO Max hasn’t launched across the pond, nor in Germany or Italy, due to existing output deals with Sky. Those contracts aren’t expected to expire until 2025.

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How much will a Max subscription cost?

Max will offer three subscription tiers varying in price, which you can find below:

  • Max Ad-Lite: $9.99/month or $99.99/year
    • 2 concurrent streams, 1080p resolution, no offline downloads, 5.1 surround sound quality
  • Max Ad-Free: $15.99/month or $149.99/year
    • 2 concurrent streams, 1080 resolution, 30 offline downloads, 5.1 surround sound quality
  • Max Ultimate Ad-Free: $19.99/month or $199.99/year
    • 4 concurrent streams, up to 4K UHD resolution, 100 offline downloads, Dolby Atmos sound quality

The prices are the same as HBO Max, with the exception of the added Ultimate tier, “because we think it’s unbelievable value for everything you get at that price,” Perrette said.

“There’s no streaming service in the world that has more higher-end consumers than HBO Max. And so our view was, let’s not try and take more money out of the wallets of people who can maybe less afford it. But rather get them to sample it at a great price. And if there are people who want higher-quality [4K video], who want all the bells and whistles and who can afford it, we’ve got a price for you and it’s $4 more than the $15.99.”

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Do I get Max if I’m already an HBO Max subscriber?

All HBO Max subscribers will have access to Max from launch, according to Warner Bros. Discovery.

Once the service starts streaming, HBO Max customers will still have their profiles, settings, watch history, ‘Continue Watching’ and ‘My List’ sections intact.

If you’re a Discovery+ subscriber, you’ll need to sign up for Max as a new customer. However, if you’re not interested in Max, you can keep your lower-priced Discovery+ subscription. “We’ll offer ample opportunities for them to check out Max by providing extended free trials and other promotional offers,” the press release teased.

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What’s on Max?

Max will include “HBO Originals, Warner Bros. films, Max Originals, the DC universe, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, an expansive offering of kids content, and best-in-class programming across food, home, reality, lifestyle, and documentaries from leading brands like HGTV, Food Network, Discovery Channel, TLC, ID and more.”

Everything you’ve gotten used to enjoying on HBO Max will still be there, whether it’s House of the Dragon, The Last of Us, or Succession.

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There’ll also be new shows coming to the platform, including the first-ever Harry Potter TV show, a new Big Bang Theory spinoff, another Game of Thrones prequel, a series set in The Conjuring universe, and the Welcome to Derry IT prequel.

Casey Bloys, Chairman and CEO of HBO and Max Content, said: “The Max service is a wide-ranging mosaic of content that will be unmatched in the breadth, reach, and excellence of its offerings.

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“We are unique because we have the best-in-all-categories across the board by any measure – be they ratings, awards, fandom. We know we can satisfy any craving because we have the brands that people love. At Max, they will find what they want, when they want it.”

Max launches on May 23, 2023. You can find out more about the platform here.

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