After more than a year of fanfare caused by the 2022 merger of Warner Bros. and Discovery, David Zaslav’s WBD has finally launched Max. Branded as “the one to watch,” the new streaming service combines the offerings of HBO Max and Discovery+ into one platform.
In April, WBD held an event announcing the name, launch date, ethos and next steps of the brand. Along with unveiling flashy (and controversial) plans like a new “Harry Potter” series, company execs also explained the decision to drop the prestigious HBO name from the title of the service: In short, they want to be clear that the acclaimed but certainly adult-leaning programming HBO is famous for is only a portion of the content available on Max.
“Warner Bros. Discovery has some of the best-known kids’ characters, animation and brands in the industry. Not surprisingly, the category has not met his true potential on HBO Max,” said JB Perrette, WBD’s president and CEO of global streaming and games. “HBO is not TV. HBO is HBO. It needs to stay that way. Which is why we will privilege it in the product experience and also not push it to the breaking point by forcing it to take on the full breadth of this new content proposition.”
For the nitty gritty on how to use the new not-HBO product, read on.
Do HBO Max and Discovery+ still exist?
Discovery+ does. HBO Max does not.
Originally, WBD planned to make both services defunct, but the company eventually elected to preserve Discovery+ as a solo offering “to avoid risking losing a significant chunk of the app’s 20 million subscribers who might not to want to pay the higher price to access [HBO Max] content.”
How do I switch over to Max?
Existing HBO Max subscribers automatically have Max accounts. On some platforms, your HBO Max app will update itself into Max; on others, you may need to download a new Max app. If your HBO Max app still appears to be available, refresh and open the app, and you will see a download prompt.
Max is accessible using your existing HBO Max login — including logins that utilize external providers such as AT&T or DirecTV. Your existing profiles, settings and pricing plans will carry over to Max automatically.
If you have an existing Discovery+ subscription but no HBO Max subscription, you will need to make a new account to access Max.
How much does Max cost?
There are three pricing tiers.
For $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year, Max With Ads offers the ability for two users to stream at once with full HD video resolution and 5.1 surround sound quality. Downloads for offline use are not available.
For $15.99 per month or $149.99 per year, Max Ad Free offers the above benefits plus 30 offline downloads.
For $19.99 per month or $199.99 per year, Max Ultimate Ad Free offers four concurrent streams, 4K Ultra HD resolution, 100 offline downloads and immersive audio with Dolby Atmos, with potential restrictions in some content categories.
What content does Max offer?
Max is now the home of all HBO Max content — which notably includes HBO’s original programming, Warner Bros. films, the DC universe, the Harry Potter universe and more — alongside select Discovery+ content, such as HGTV, Food Network, Discovery Channel, TLC, ID and Magnolia Network.
Additionally, Max has already begun to roll out new content. Projects debuting as Max launches include “SmartLess: On the Road,” “How to Create a Sex Scandal,” “What Am I Eating? With Zooey Deschanel,” “Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai,” “Clone High” and “Bama Rush.”
See a more detailed rundown of Max content here.
What accessibility features does Max offer?
Max currently supports screen reader technology on web, Roku, Vizio, LG, Samsung, XBOX, PlayStation 5, iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android Mobile, Android TV, Google TV, FireTV, DirecTV, Comcast and Cox.
Max also currently offers 6,500 hours of audio descriptive content, and there are plans to further expand this library.
Where is Max available?
Max is currently only available in the U.S., with impending plans to expand to other countries.
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