HBO Max and Discovery will combine into one streaming service to compete with Netflix and Disney. [Read Updated April 13, 2023]
This Wednesday, April 12, Warner Bros. Discovery will announce a new streaming service that combines HBO Max and Discovery under one roof. The service, expected to cost $16 per month, will be called “Max” and launch within the next couple of months.
The announcement of the streaming service comes one year after the merger of Discovery Inc. and WarnerMedia in April of 2022.
We’ll have to wait until Wednesday for details on how current HBO Max and Discovery+ subscribers will be moved under one umbrella platform, although it has been said Discovery+ will remain a standalone app.
Warner Bros. Discovery currently has a streaming subscriber base of about 96.1 versus 231 million Netflix subs. Disney has about 235 million subscribers when combining Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu.
Those close to Warner Bros. Discovery have said subscription costs for Max will vary, and a less expensive ad-supported tier will likely be available.
Updated content: April 13, 2023
Max will launch on May 23, 2023 with content from HBO Max and Discovery, and will add an average of over 40 new titles and TV show seasons every month, the company said. Max will be offered in the following plans upon launch:
- Max Ad-Lite ($9.99/month or $99.99/year): Two concurrent streams, 1080p HD resolution, no offline downloads, 5.1 surround sound quality
- Max Ad Free ($15.99/month or $149.99/year): Two concurrent streams, 1080p HD, up to 30 offline downloads, 5.1 surround sound quality
- Max Ultimate Ad Free ($19.99/month or $199.99/year): Four concurrent streams, up to 4K Ultra HD resolution, 100 offline downloads, Dolby Atmos sound quality
Why was the name HBO dropped? One reason is HBO’s apparent association with adult material. Max is focused on a wider audience that includes content for kids from Warner Bros. Discovery.
President and CEO of global streaming and games for Warner Bros. Discovery, JB Perrette said, “We all love HBO, and it’s a brand that has been built over five decades. But it’s not exactly where parents would most eagerly drop off their kids.”