It’s WarnerMedia’s turn to enter the streaming wars.
HBO Max is much more than an upgraded HBO, it’s the streaming home of WarnerMedia, containing thousands of TV shows and films from the conglomerate’s many brands. Here is a helpful video teaser they launched alongside the announcement to give you a better idea of what’s included.
Every major media entity needs a Netflix-style streaming service to consolidate all of their existing properties into one home and allow for consumers to pay those conglomerates directly. Apple has Apple TV+, Disney has Disney+, and NBC Universal is currently working prearing the aptly named Peacock. HBO Max will be WarnerMedia’s answer in the ongoing streaming struggle.
Here is everything we know about HBO Max.
HBO Max Launch Date
HBO Max will launch on May 27, 2020. As 2:59 a.m. ET is the deadline to signing up at a discounted rate, it seems likely that the service will launch at 3 a.m. ET.
HBO Max Price
HBO Max is going to launch at $14.99 a month. That’s relatively expensive compared to upstarts like Disney+ ($6.99) and Apple TV+ ($4.99). But the interesting thing to note is that price point is HBO Now’s current price, meaning an HBO Now subscriber could upgrade to receive all of Warner Media’s available content without a price increase.
And HBO Now subscribers will receive just that. Barring any technical snafus, HBO Now users should be able to log onto their account on May 27 and discover that it is now an HBO Now account. Individuals who have HBO as part of their cable or streaming subscription can get HBO Max for free through the following providers: AT&T, Charter/Spectrum, YouTube TV, Apple, Hulu, Optimum, Suddenlink, Verizon, Cox, WOW!, Atlantic Broadband, RCN, Grande Communications & Wave, MCTV, and others.
HBO Max Devices
Cutting deals with various streaming device providers like Apple, Google, and Roku takes some doing. As such, WarnerMedia has reportedly been in negotiations with various providers right up against the deadline of HBO Max’s release date. For now, however, here are the devices confirmed to be compatible with HBO Max.
- All current Apple devices such as iPhones, iPads, MacBooks, Apple TV 4K, and Apple TV HD. Consumers with older Apple TV models will only be able to use the device via Air Play on another Apple device.
- An HBO Max app will be available on the Google Play store for Android devices including most phones, tablets, and Chromebooks. Chromecast will support HBO Max as well.
- The Sony PlayStation store will have an HBO Max app available for PlayStation 4.
- The Microsoft Store will have an HBO Max app for use on Xbox One consoles.
- Some Samsung smart TV models produced between 2016 and 2020 will be able to download HBO Max.
As of now, it’s unclear if Roku will have an HBO Max app in time for the release. Amazon Fire TV products are not currently expected to have the app.
HBO Max Content
HBO Max will feature the combined forces of Warner channels and studios like Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes and more. This all adds up to over 10,000 hours of content per HBO Max chief of content Kevin Reilly.
While all those Warner channels and content providers will be consolidated on HBO Max, they will also be split up into their own categories. At the Winter 2020 TCA press tour, Reilly described the HBO Max interface as “not being a superstore. We’re going to have aisles.”
Here is the type of programming that HBO Max subscribers can expect in those aisles.
Classic TV Shows
The big news amongst the older TV offerings on HBO Max is that Warner has finally reacquired the streaming rights to its ’90s cash cow Friends. All episodes of Friends will be available on HBO Max after spending most of its streaming life on Netflix. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Warner paied $425 million to bring Friends home. Also available will be The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and Pretty Little Liars. HBO Max also has the rights to The Big Bang Theory.
Current TV Shows
HBO Max will be the exclusive streaming home of TV shows produced by Warner television. These include CW shows like Batwoman, and the upcoming Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene. The other current CW series will remain on their streaming partners (mostly Netflix) until their run has ended.
Brief clips of some Cartoon Network shows and Tru TV’s Impractical Jokers can be see in HBO Max’s announcement video as well. DC Universe is expected to remain its own independent streaming entity for the time being but certain DC Universe shows like Doom Patrol will be available on the platform at launch.
HBO Max will be the exclusive streaming home to Rick and Morty and South Park. Search Party (previously of TBS) will call HBO Max home for its 3rd and 4th seasons.
Included in HBO Max’s announcement video are clips from Warner-owned movies like A Star is Born, Wonder Woman, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and even The Wizard of Oz. It’s safe to assume that HBO Max will be the exclusive home for as many Warner-owned film properites that Warner can muster up.
DC character mastermind Greg Berlanti has also signed a deal with Warner to produce four YA-focused movies for the HBO Max service. Reese Witherspoon is under contract to produce two films.
One important Warner series that won’t be available on HBO Max is Harry Potter. Despite having access to the Fantastic Beasts prequels, HBO previously ceded the streaming rights for Potter to NBC Universal. That deal won’t be up until 2025.
HBO Max will be home to the previously announced Max Original series and movies. All synopses are provided by Warner.
– Dune: The Sisterhood, an adaptation of Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson’s book based in the world created by Frank Herbert’s book Dune, from director Denis Villeneuve.
– Tokyo Vice, based on Jake Adelstein’s non-fiction first-hand account of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat starring Ansel Elgort.
– The Flight Attendant, a one-hour thriller series based on the novel by Chris Bohjalian, which will star Kaley Cuoco, who is also executive producing alongside Greg Berlanti.
– Love Life, a 10-episode half-hour romantic comedy anthology series starring Pitch Perfect star Anna Kendrick, who will also executive produce alongside Paul Feig.
– Station Eleven, a postapocalyptic limited series based on Emily St. John Mandel’s international bestseller, adapted by Patrick Somerville and directed by Hiro Mura.
– Made for Love, a 10-episode, half-hour, straight-to-series adaptation based on the tragicomic novel of the same name by Alissa Nutting, also from Somerville and directed by S.J. Clarkson.
– Gremlins, an animated series from Warner Bros. Animation and Amblin Entertainment based on the original movie.
Aquaman: King of Atlantis, an animated Aquaman series from Aquaman film director James Wan.
Given that HBO Max has “HBO” in its name, what would it be without some good-old fashioned HBO content? HBO Max will feature everything that HBO currently has like Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Big Little Lies, and more. Some of the notable upcoming HBO series include (synopses again provided by Warner):
– The Gilded Age, the opulent world of 1885 New York from “Downton Abbey’s” Julian Fellowes
– The Undoing, a psychological thriller from David E. Kelley, directed by Susanne Bier starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant
– Perry Mason, the classic legal drama for a new generation, executive produced by Robert Downey, Jr.and Susan Downey, with Matthew Rhys in the title role