Streaming to the Max: HBO Max and Discovery+ Become MaxStreaming to the Max: HBO Max and Discovery+ Become Max
HBO Max no more. Discovery+ and HBO Max have combined to form one mega streaming service, called Max.
April 12, 2023
There’s a new fighter in the streaming wars. Next month, HBO Max will fold in Discovery+ content to create one mega streaming service called Max. Though Discovery+ will remain as a standalone service in the U.S., Max promises to be a single destination for all Warner Bros. Discovery streamable content.
Future plans for the Max streaming brand include live content like sports, the addition of more than 40 new titles, new television show seasons and more.
The new Max service will include a video playback experience and a streamlined navigation with areas for each brand: Discovery, HBO and TLC, for example. HBO Max is set to automatically update to Max for some users, while others will need to manually download the new app.
After the new app downloads, Warner Bros. Discovery says that all data will migrate seamlessly. Three pricing tiers will be included: an ad-supported tier at $10 per month or $100 per year, an ad-free plan at $16 per month or $150 per year, and an ultimate ad-free plan, $20 per month or $200 per year.
The ad-supported tier offers users the option to stream HD video on two devices simultaneously, while the ad-free tier adds in the option for up to 30 offline downloads. The ultimate ad-free option allows users to stream in 4K, supports Dolby Atmos-supported streams on up to four devices at once and has the option for up to 100 offline downloads.
New shows and films are on the way with the launch of Max as well. Most of the announced properties are extensions of well-loved IP, including an eight-episode miniseries for “The Batman’s” Penguin, aptly titled “The Penguin,” an “It” prequel called “Welcome to Derry,” a “Gremlins” series called “Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai” and spin-offs based on “Big Bang Theory” and “The Conjuring.” Another “Game of Thrones” spinoff and a “Harry Potter” series have also been announced.
The news is the latest in the headline-making Warner Bros. Discovery merger as the company continues to restructure.
Earlier decisions included the scrapping of the "Batgirl" movie and removal of 81 titles from HBO Max including "Westworld" and "Minx."
Competition in the streaming wars is heating up as companies grapple with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain cost increases and more.
Notably, Netflix tinkered with the idea of altering or completely removing the option of password sharing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney is currently contemplating what to do with Disney+ and Hulu to compete, and Paramount+ has inked a promotional deal with Formula 1 to bring in more subscribers.
The trend we're seeing in streaming is content addition, business experimentation and consolidation. Streaming is a new business model, so companies need to try different things to see what sticks, and with so many options available to consumers, the more content one option has, the better.
Max launches on May 23.
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