Max is the new flagship streaming service from Warner Bros. Discovery.
The company unveiled the new service during an April 12 press event. Will it pose a threat to Netflix and Disney+?
In this article and the video below, I’ll share five things you need to know about Max!
1. What Is Max?
Max is the new name for HBO Max, but there’s more to it than that.
Launching May 23, the service says it will average more than 40 new titles and seasons per month.
Max will include everything that people already like about HBO Max, including HBO original series, Warner Bros. films and the DC Universe.
On top of that, Max is adding select unscripted content from Discovery+ and putting a bigger focus on children’s programming.
The goal of the new Max service is clear from the new tagline: “The one to watch.” By removing HBO from the name, the company hopes to reach a broader audience.
By combining content from HBO Max and Discovery+, Max aims to become a service for every member of the household.
This is important for Warner Bros. Discovery because streaming services have a major problem with subscriber churn. In fact, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav said that “holding subs is as important as adding subs.”
The service will not include live sports and news at launch, but Zaslav teased more changes will be announced in the coming months.
2. How Much Does Max Cost?
Max is marketing three plans, up from two plans that HBO Max offers. The pricing is the same as HBO Max, but there are changes to plan features that some customers aren’t happy about.
For example, 4K video quality is only available with the Max Ultimate plan.
|With Ads||Ad-Free||Ultimate Ad-Free|
|$9.99/month or $99.99/year|
Stream in Full HD on 2 devices at once
|$15.99/month or $149.99/year |
Stream in Full HD on 2 devices at once, up to 30 offline downloads
| $19.99/month or $199.99/year |
Stream in 4K UHD on 4 devices at once, up to 100 offline downloads
Importantly, current HBO Max subscribers will keep their existing HBO Max plan features for at least six months after Max launches.
At some point, they’ll have to choose one of the new Max plans.
For those who are receiving HBO Max as a free perk from AT&T or another service provider, I haven’t heard of any immediate changes.
3. What’s the Impact for HBO Max Subscribers?
If you already have HBO Max, your app should have updated to the new Max service automatically on launch day.
However, some users may be prompted to download the new app.
Otherwise, the transition should be seamless. Things like your username/password, billing information, watch history and watch list will be carried over.
4. What’s the Impact for Discovery+ Subscribers?
If you have Discovery+, you don’t have to sign up for the more expensive Max service if you don’t want to.
Discovery+ will continue as a standalone service.
Max will likely offer targeted deals to get Discovery+ customers to upgrade, but Discovery+ is profitable and the company doesn’t want to alienate those subscribers.
5. Are There Any Other Changes to the App?
Max is promising a more simplified interface compared to HBO Max.
The service will feature an updated content navigation menu at the top of the screen, which will have a shortcut to HBO content.
Other changes include:
- Ways to discover content by favorite brands and genres
- More personalized recommendations
- Default kids profile and parental controls
Max sounds like a must-have streaming service for people who already enjoy HBO Max.
Time will tell if the additional Discovery+ and children’s programming helps broaden the appeal of the service or reduces subscriber churn.
I’ll be updating this article with a full review after Max launches.