Will Max cost more than HBO Max? Will the streaming service offer 4k, Dolby Vision, and Atmos? Is MAX for kids?
Warner Bros. Discovery announced Wednesday details about the new streaming service MAX that will combine HBO Max and Discovery+ content under one roof. The new service, a rebrand of HBO Max that adds Discovery+ content, will launch in the US on May 23, 2023.
Max, like Netflix, will provide subscribers with three tiers to choose from. “Max Ad-Lite” is the cheapest option with ad-supported content for $9.99 per month. The middle tier, “Max Ad Free,” is free of advertisements but only streams in HD and a maximum of 2 concurrent streams for $15.99 per month.
Subscribers who want 4k will have to subscribe to “Max Ultimate Ad Free” for $19.99 per month with no ads and up to 4 concurrent streams.
Netflix was the only major streamer to charge more for Ultra HD content (Apple TV+, Disney+, and Prime Video never have). Now, both Netflix and MAX are charging $19.99 for the higher quality video and audio format.
There is one benefit to the higher price though. Previously, HBO Max only had a limited amount of 4k titles (and they often would disappear from the library). Now, movie franchises such as Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings will finally stream in 4k, HDR, and Atmos.
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.”
Max Streaming Tiers
- 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