HBO Max, the HBO -plus-other-stuff streaming service from WarnerMedia, is finally here. At $14.99 per month, the service — initially available to subscribers in the United States — is more expensive than competing offerings like Netflix and Disney+. But from another angle, it’s still a pretty sweet deal, since you’re getting HBO, plus a whole bunch of extra content, for the same price as an HBO subscription. (WarnerMedia couldn’t go lower than $15 per month without undercutting HBO pricing and violating its agreements with cable providers.)
HBO Max is an American subscription video-on-demand streaming service from WarnerMedia Entertainment, a division of AT&T’s WarnerMedia. HBO Max is built around WarnerMedia’s HBO premium TV service and includes all of its programming, as well as a range of additional original programming and library content from all parts of WarnerMedia, as well as third-party content providers from which WarnerMedia bought streaming rights.
So if it’s the same price as HBO and includes a lot of the same content, why launch a new service at all? As executives at WarnerMedia and its corporate parent AT&T have made clear, they’re hoping to compete with players like Netflix. That means building a broader audience than HBO — though they’re also trying to leverage HBO’s reputation for prestige TV and its early success with streaming — and expanding globally. It will also probably involve introducing cheaper, ad-supported plans in the future.
WarnerMedia says HBO Max is launching with 10,000 hours of movies and TV, including existing shows like “Friends,” “The Big Bang Theory,” the new version of “Doctor Who,” “Rick and Morty,” “The Boondocks,” “The Bachelor,” “Sesame Street,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Batwoman,” “Nancy Drew,” “Katy Keene,” “Doom Patrol,” “The O.C.,” “Pretty Little Liars” and “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.”
The lineup includes newer movies like “Crazy Rich Asians,” “A Star Is Born,” “Aquaman” and “Joker,” as well as classics like “Casablanca,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Matrix,” “The Goonies,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “The Lord of the Rings,” “Citizen Kane” and “Gremlins.”
And if you’re a superhero fan, it has every DC film from the last decade, including “Wonder Woman,” “Justice League” (plus director Zack Snyder’s cut of the film, scheduled for release next year) and every Batman and Superman movie from the last 40 years.
WarnerMedia says the service should also be available to HBO subscribers through partners like AT&T, Cox, DirecTV, Hulu, Optimum, Spectrum, Verizon Fios and YouTube TV (Update: and Comcast!) at no additional cost — there’s a whole section on the HBO Max website about how to sign up. And if you aren’t already a subscriber, you can sign up for a free seven-day trial on the HBO Max website.