On Wednesday, May 27 a new streaming services launched called HBO Max. The latest service is from WarnerMedia, and while “HBO” is in the title, it’s far more than just programming from the cable network. In fact, it includes content from Warner Bros., Crunchyroll, DC, TNT, and more. But what is HBO Max, how much does it cost, and what does it include?
HBO Max is one of the big streaming service launches in 2020, right alongside NBCUniversal’s Peacock, which already had a soft launch and will be available nationally in July. WarnerMedia’s HBO Max has some tough competition going up against streaming giants Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. However, it’s huge back catalog should give it a good head start.
One of the more confusing things about HBO Max, for some people, is its difference between the already established HBO Go and HBO Now, and if you can access any of the same content through an already-available app.
What’s the difference?
- HBO Go-A service available to cable subscribers, streaming HBO content to internet-connected devices.
- HBO Now-The same thing as HBO Go except it’s a standalone streaming service, not attached to your cable provider.
- HBO Max-WarnerMedia’s platform. While it does offer HBO content, it also includes original programming and content from a variety of other networks and movie studios.
Those who subscribed to HBO Max prior to launch also get access to HBO Now, and current HBO Now subscribers get access to HBO Max. If you access HBO Now through a third-party apps Apple, Google Play, Samsung, Verizon Fios internet, Optimum, Consolidated Communications and Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico, you will also get immediate access.
Unlike Peacock, Netflix, and Hulu, there is not a tiered pricing system for HBO Max. The service costs $15 a month, which is $1 less than Netflix’s premium tier. This is for an ad-free experience as well. Both Peacock and Hulu have cheaper tiers, but you’ll have to watch advertisements.
HBO Max is more than just HBO. It contains television and movies from many different places under the WarnerMedia property banner. There will be over 10,000 hours of curated content, and celebrities–like Zac Efron–will offer up suggestions for what to watch on the service in personal curation videos.
Additionally, HBO Max has partnered with Crunchyroll to offer up some high-quality anime content on the streaming service. 17 titles will be available at launch, including Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Berserk, Rurouni Kenshin, and more. Also, the full Studio Ghibli animated library will be available including Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away.
Here are some of the properties you can find on HBO Max. Many of these are in the Max Hubs section of the app.
- Warner Bros.
- New Line Cinema
- Studio Ghibli
- Looney Tunes
- The CW
- Turner Classic Movies
- Cartoon Network
- Adult Swim
- Rooster Teeth
Originals at launch:
HBO Max is offering a decent amount of original content at launch, but there isn’t a lot of hype surrounding its original content–even though Elmo’s late night talk show looks delightful. Six originals arrived at launch–five series and one documentary–and below, you’ll find the full list. You can find more details about the original series here.
- Love Life
- Looney Tunes
- The Not Too Late Show With Elmo
- On the Record
Additionally, there are more notable originals planned like the Green Lantern series, an Adventure Time continuation, DC’s Strange Adventures, and Season 2 of the DC Universe series Doom Patrol, which will arrive on June 25. HBO Max has released the upcoming slate of original programming as well. And there is a lot in the works for the streaming service.
Future original programming:
- Esme & Roy (Animated series)
- The Fungies (Comedy anthology series)
- Karma (Kid’s competition series)
- Tig N’ Seek (Animated series)
- Doom Patrol Season 2 (Live-action superhero series)
- Expecting Amy (Amy Schumer documentary)
- The House of Mo (Non-fiction series)
- Search Party (Comedy series)
- The Monster at the End of this Story (Sesame Street animated special)
- Sesame Street
- Unpregnant (Film)
- Equal (Docuseries)
- The Event (Unscripted docuseries)
- The Flight Attendant (Thriller series)
- Friends Reunion Special (Unscripted special)
- Full Bloom (Competition series)
- Hot Dog (Comedy competition series)
- Let Them All Talk (Film)
- Raised By Wolves (Sci-fi series)
- John Early (Stand-up comedy)
- Superintelligence (Film)
- White House Card (True Crime drama series)
- Adventure Time: BMO
- Adventure Time: Obsidian
- Adventure Time: Wizard City
- Adventure Time: Together Again
- Aquaman: King of Atlantis (Animated series)
- Don’t Let the Pigeon Do Storytime (Live action family special)
- Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai (Animated series)
- Jelly Stone (Animated series)
- Little Ellen (Animated series)
- Mecha Builders (Animated Sesame Street spin-off)
- 15 Minutes of Shame (Documentary)
- Brad & Gary Go To… (Non-fiction series)
- College Girls (Comedy series)
- DC Super Hero High (Docuseries)
- Generation Hustle (Drama series)
- Gossip Girl (Drama series)
- Grease: Rydell High (Musical series)
- Green Lantern (Superhero series)
- Strange Adventures (Superhero series)
- Tooned Out (Comedy series)
- 12 Dates of Christmas (Unscripted series)
- Americanah (Drama series)
- The Big Shot With Bethenny (Unscripted series)
- Birth, Wedding, Funeral (Docuseries)
- Bobbie Sue (Film)
- The Boondocks (Animated series)
- Bourdain (Documentary)
- Boys (Period drama series)
- Charm City Kings (Film)
- Circe (Drama series)
- Crime Farm (Drama series)
- Dune: The Sisterhood (Drama series)
- Duster (Drama series)
- Ellen’s Home Design Challenge (Competition series)
- First Dates Hotel (Unscripted series)
- Gen: Lock (Animated series)
- Generation (Dramedy series)
- The Greatest Space (Non-fiction series)
- Heaven’s Gate (Docuseries)
- Justice League Dark (Superhero series)
- Overlook (Horror-thriller series)
- Persona (Documentary)
- The Prince (Animated series)
- Rap Sh*t (Comedy series)
- Santa Inc. (Animated comedy series)
- The Scoop (Documentary)
- Tracy Morgan (Stand-up comedy)
- Rose Matafeo (Stand-up comedy)
- Ahir Shah (Stand-up comedy)
- Stand-up Specials Presented By Conan O’Brien (Stand-up comedy)
- Starstruck (Comedy series)
- Station Eleven (Drama series)
- Tokyo Vice (Drama series)
- The Unthinkable Earth (Anthology series)
- Zack Snyder’s Justice League (Film)
While there is a lot in the works, HBO Max is offering subscribers to rewatch many of their favorite shows, including HBO’s vast back catalog of TV shows like Sopranos to NBC favorites like Friends as well.
HBO Max is currently available on several different platforms, with Amazon Fire devices and Roku devices being the major exceptions thus far. Supported platforms include:
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- Xbox One
- Web browsers
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