HBO is one of the oldest and continuously operating pay television services. It became a household name by offering theatrical films, original television programs and documentaries, as well as comedies and special concerts broadcast directly in people’s living rooms. In recent years, they have been praised for their prestigious television dramas, such as Game of Thrones and The Sopranos. With HBO Max, HBO’s parent company, WarnerMedia, is entering a crowded field of players, all looking for your subscription dollars.
How is it different from HBO Now and HBO Go?
For those of you who matter, HBO Max is HBO’s third streaming service. It follows on from HBO Now and HBO Go, which still work. Why did HBO opt for such an unconventional structure, especially when it only seems to confuse potential customers? The answer lies in the complicated history of HBO. Because it was created in the 1970s, it was linked to cable subscription services. As a result, HBO was an optional channel for which satellite and cable subscribers could choose to pay.
In the early 2000s, HBO made its first foray into content streaming with HBO On Demand. It was a complementary service for existing subscribers that allowed customers to watch content on demand. In 2009, HBO on Broadband was launched and was later renamed HBO Go.
Unfortunately, HBO Go required you to have a cable subscription. In order to attract customers who cut the cord, HBO Now was launched in 2015. Unlike HBO Go, HBO Now is a stand-alone service that does not require an active cable subscription. While the two will still be operational when HBO Max launches in May, their new service will be the company’s main focus.
What content is available?
HBO Max will host approximately 10,000 hours of content. This includes all of the titles from HBO’s extensive catalog of TV series, movies, documentaries, and original shows. In addition, it will contain content from WarnerMedia’s extensive resources, including DC Entertainment, New Line Cinema, Cartoon Network, The CW, TBS, TNT, etc. Through partnerships, HBO Max will be the streaming home of various BBC series in the United States. In addition, the service will include a number of licensed titles, such as the entire Friends series and The Big Bang Theory.
In addition to paying a lot of money to get the streaming rights for some of your favorite classics, WarnerMedia is investing heavily in original content. When HBO Max launches in late May, it will host a variety of high-profile shows exclusive to the platform.
Nicknamed Max Originals, these include the Love Life anthology, with Anna Kendrick, and the science fiction thread produced by Ridley Scott, Raised by Wolves. In addition, HBO Max will offer exclusive movies not found on any other HBO platform, such as the comedy Seth Rogen, An American Pickle. Overall, HBO Max plans to offering 31 exclusive shows in 2020. The service plans to expand this offer to 50 titles by 2021.
HBO Max will also be the exclusive home of the so-called “Snyder Cut” from the 2017 Justice League film. Fans are demanding a director’s cut after director Zack Snyder left production due to a family tragedy. The new cut is supposed to be darker and much longer. Early reports suspect the film could last around four hours or could be shown in a miniseries format. This, along with other high-profile exclusive content, such as the Friends’ Reunion, gives serious ammunition service in the streaming wars.
HBO Max will be officially launched on May 27 in the United States. It is expected to be available in other countries around the world. However, at the time of writing, the launch dates have not been officially announced. That being said, HBO Max will not be available in other countries until 2021. In addition, the content that will be available in regions outside of the United States is unknown. It’s hard to say exactly what HBO Max content will offer in foreign markets. This is due to complex partnerships with local suppliers as well as foreign licenses and distribution rights.
Compared to its competitors, HBO Max is going to be one of the most expensive streaming providers on the market. At launch, the service is expected to cost $ 15 per month. Fortunately, there is a bonus for registering for the service before it goes online on May 27. The first subscribers will benefit from a monthly discount of $ 3 for the first 12 months. This means that you will be stuck at a price of $ 11.99 per month for the first year.
Despite the high price, there is good news for existing HBO subscribers. Customers who subscribe to HBO through AT&T, including AT&T TV, DirecTV, U-verse and AT&T Mobility, will have access to HBO Max at launch at no additional cost. In addition, customers who subscribe to higher Internet, TV and wireless plans will also get HBO Max for free. People on lower level plans will benefit from a free trial, lasting from one month to a year. Finally, if you are already subscribed to HBO Now, you will be automatically migrated to HBO Max at no additional cost.
Will you be subscribed to HBO Max? Or are you going to opt for one of its competitors, like Peacock from NBCUniversal? Can HBO Max compete with Netflix and Disney Plus? Only time will tell.
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