Max, formerly known as HBO Max, looks a little different than its predecessor. The decision behind this name change was due to Discovery and WarnerMedia's merger. The platform will now have eight times more content than before and will also see a huge surge of 4k movies and TV shows. However, this service will not be inexpensive.
Currently available only in the USA, the streamer's "Ultimate" plan is priced at $19.99/ month or $199.99/year. Programs and films such as Game of Thrones, The Last of Us, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Dark Knight trilogy, The Matrix films, etc will be available to watch on it. This service will gradually spread to other countries where HBO Max was already available.
HBO Max is now Max: 3 key changes to the streamer
1) New shows to watch
The newly re-named streaming service will have way more content than before, along with additional shows from networks under Discovery's ownership. These networks are TLC, HGTV, and Food Network. This has led them to adopt the slogan "The one to watch."
CEO David Zaslav said in April 2023:
"It’s the one to watch because it’s the place every member of the household can go to see exactly what they want at any given time."
2) The upgrading process
Some users can just update HBO Max on their streaming device to enjoy Max; however, some will require an entirely new app.
Once you open the existing app, you will receive a message to upgrade it. A new account won't be required to be made as the app will remember your login details. In addition, it will also remember your activity history, which means you can resume watching that episode of The Last of Us where you paused it.
3) New 4K plan explained
The streamer's 4K service will come in three price points, which are:
- With Ads for $9.99/month or $99.99/year: 2 concurrent streams, Full HD video resolution, no offline downloads, 5.1 surround sound quality
- Ad Free for $15.99/month or $149.99/year: 2 concurrent streams, Full HD video resolution, 30 offline downloads, 5.1 surround sound quality
- Ultimate Ad Free for $19.99/month or $199.99/year: 4 concurrent streams, 4K Ultra HD resolution content, 100 offline downloads, immersive audio with Dolby Atmos
What happened at the April 12, 2023, Warner Bros. Discovery press event?
HBO Max's merger with Discovery+ was revealed in a press event on April 12, 2023.
JB Perrette, president and CEO of Global Streaming and Games for Warner Bros. Discovery explained the app's name change by saying:
"We all love HBO, and it’s a brand that has been built over five decadesoto stand for 'edgy, groundbreaking entertainment for adults.' But it’s not exactly where parents would most eagerly drop off their kids. And yet Warner Bros. Discovery has some of the best-known kids’ characters, animation and brands in the industry."
Casey Bloys, chief content officer, added:
"It was a lot of, ‘How was HBO going to be put next to 'The Big Bang Theory'? So I understand and appreciate the passion that people feel for the HBO brand and protecting and believing. Nobody believes that more than me and my team. But, as I said before, it’s a premium brand. It is not designed to take on everything in the library or in the streaming service."
While this decision faced heavy online backlash, this merger is mutually beneficial for both the streaming service and its fans.