HBO Max will debut in 2020 as a new content streaming offering from communications giant AT&T.
Will it be with worth adding to your television portfolio in an increasingly crowded streaming marketplace? That likely depends on how much you value the content produced by HBO and other WarnerMedia entities.
In anticipation of the upcoming release of HBO Max, Team Clark has collected all of the information you need about the new streaming service.
In this article, we’ll help you understand what the HBO Max platform will look like, showcase some of the content that will be included with a subscription and explain how to get the service when it becomes available.
Table of Contents
- What Is HBO Max?
- How Can I Get HBO Max?
- What Is Included With HBO Max
- Original Content Created For HBO Max
- HBO Now vs. HBO Max: Understanding the Difference
- Final Thoughts
What Is HBO Max?
HBO Max is a yet-to-be released subscription streaming service that AT&T revealed in Fall 2019. It will compete with existing non-live streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV+ in the ever-growing and ultra-competitive “cord cutting” market.
HBO Max will include 45 years worth of HBO content, as well as options from popular WarnerMedia entities like TBS, TNT, CNN and Warner Brothers. It will also include titles that WarnerMedia properties have acquired or reacquired licensing rights to in recent years, like the Friends, The Big Bang Theory, Sesame Street and South Park libraries. And, yes, there will be plenty of new content that is exclusive to the platform.
AT&T boasts that HBO Max will have more than 10,000 hours of content available at launch.
Here’s a video recently released on the service’s official site that hints at the type of content we can expect to see:
How Can I Get HBO Max?
HBO Max is not yet available for purchase, but some details on the anticipated release have been provided by AT&T.
HBO Max will debut in May of 2020. An exact date has not yet been announced, but consumers who want to purchase the service can go ahead and budget for May 2020.
HBO Max will debut at $14.99 per month. That price will make HBO Max one of the more expensive non-live streaming options on the market. For reference, Netflix’s standard offering is $12.99 per month, while new streaming services Disney+ and Apple TV+ check in at $6.99 and $4.99 per month, respectively.
If you already subscribe to HBO through an AT&T service like DirecTV, you may be eligible to receive HBO Max for free in 2020, according to a report from Reuters.
HBO NOW Connection
If you are already an HBO NOW customer, you are in luck. It appears that HBO NOW customers will be in line to receive HBO Max at no additional cost. Here are the details, per the service’s website:
“HBO NOW subscribers who are billed directly through HBO will also get access to WarnerMedia’s new offering, HBO Max, at launch for no extra cost.”
It is important to note the bold print regarding being billed directly through HBO. If you are subscribing to HBO NOW through a third-party like Apple or Roku, it appears that you will not be eligible for HBO Max free of charge.
What Is Included With HBO Max?
HBO Max will include the entire HBO library, content from some of WarnerMedia’s other brands, licensed television series and movies, as well as original content. Here is a look at some television series and movies already confirmed to be part of the content offering:
TV Series Included With HBO Max
AT&T has made an investment in licensing some big-name television titles for this streaming service. Complete catalogs of generational television hits like Friends and The Big Bang Theory will be available. Some of the titles that are sure to pique the interest of potential subscribers include:
- The Big Bang Theory
- The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
- The West Wing
- South Park
- Rick and Morty
- Ellen’s Game of Games
While not traditionally known for entertaining children, HBO will also provide some popular kid-centric programming, including:
- Sesame Street
- Looney Tunes
- My Neighbor Totoro
- Happy Feet
Remember, you’re also getting access to the vast existing library of HBO’s original content. The network has aired hit shows like:
- The Sopranos
- Boardwalk Empire
- Game of Thrones
- The Wire
- Curb Your Enthusiasm
- Sex and the City
Movies Included With HBO Max
With DC Comics in play, there will be plenty of superhero content available. The DC universe includes popular characters like Batman and Superman. Both have a long history of box office successes, so a robust collection of those films likely will attract a following.
HBO Max already is advertising the availability of the newest Joker film, which was one of the more popular film releases of 2019. It also has advertised the availability of the popular The Lord of the Rings movie series. Here’s a sampling of some of the film titles HBO Max subscribers can expect to see:
- The Lord of the Rings
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- The Matrix
- Wonder Woman
Original Content on HBO Max
At $15 per month, one would hope that HBO Max is differentiating itself with new and original content beyond the regular HBO subscription. It appears the plans are already in place to make that a reality. Stars like Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Kaley Cuoco and Anna Kendrick are already committed to original series for HBO Max.
Here is a look at some of the titles already confirmed as original content that will debut on HBO Max in 2020, along with a short description of what to expect:
Confirmed HBO Max Originals
- Adventure Time: “Go back to the Land of Ooo to join Finn and his best buddy Jake (a wise-cracking dog with magical powers) on a series of surreal adventures.”
- Ellen’s Home Design Challenge: “Design aficionado Ellen DeGeneres gives eight forward-thinking designers the chance to push their creativity to the limit.”
- The Flight Attendant: “Based on the novel by Chris Bohjalian, a flight attendant wakes up next to a dead man with no idea what happened. Kaley Cuoco stars and executive produces.”
- Gossip Girl: “Eight years after the original website went dark, a new generation of New York private school teens are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl.”
- Legendary: “Meet the divas behind celebrated voguing teams who are battling in the ballroom for a chance to achieve ‘legendary’ status.”
- Let Them All Talk: “Meryl Streep plays a celebrated author who goes on a journey to have fun and heal old wounds.”
- Love Life: “It’s a bumpy — but funny — ride from first love to last in this romantic comedy anthology series. Anna Kendrick stars and executive produces with Paul Feig.”
- Made For Love: “Alissa Nutting’s tragicomic novel about love, divorce, and revenge comes to life in this 10-episode adaptation.”
- Raised by Wolves: “Two androids tasked with raising human children on a mysterious planet learn that controlling the beliefs of humans is a treacherous and difficult task.”
- Tokyo Vice: “An American journalist embeds himself in the Tokyo Vice police squad to sniff out corruption. Based on the memoir by Jake Adelstein.”
HBO Max vs. HBO NOW: Understanding the Difference
With names like HBO, HBO Go, HBO NOW and HBO Max all floating out there, some users may struggle with brand differentiation between the products.
Let’s try to clear up some of the potential confusion:
HBO is the traditional cable subscription channel that will remain a stand-alone brand available for purchase through a television provider.
HBO NOW is a subscription service that provides access to HBO programming to those who do not pay for it through a traditional cable or satellite television provider. At $15 per month, it has been a popular way for cord-cutters to gain access to all of HBO’s original programming, including live streaming HBO channels, archived shows and a menu of movies. This will remain live even after the launch of HBO Max.
HBO Max will be a new subscription streaming service that creates original content and provides access to popular licensed content. It also will have HBO programming and a more extensive library of movies, but the key differentiation from HBO NOW will apparently be its focus on original streaming content.
Remember, HBO NOW subscribers who pay directly through HBO will receive HBO Max for free. Regular HBO subscribers who purchase through an AT&T television service also will be eligible to get HBO Max for free.
Neither Max nor NOW should be confused with HBO Go, which is the “on the go” version of a traditional HBO cable subscription for your phone, tablet or other portable device.
Final Thoughts on HBO Max
The subscription streaming market is quickly becoming very crowded. While Netflix and Hulu remain leaders in the space, HBO is joining major companies like Disney, Amazon and Apple in a race to capitalize on revenue opportunities provided by consumers who are eager to ditch traditional cable television.
Will the original content from HBO Max be enough to differentiate itself from the other services? And will it be enough to justify charging $14.99 per month when competitors like Disney and Apple are asking for less than half of that with new streaming services that have beaten HBO Max to the marketplace in 2019?
Answers to these questions are likely to determine the fate of HBO’s latest venture.
The re-acquisition of streaming rights for an iconic show like Friends is a huge win for HBO Max. There is a loyal following for the popular franchise that is likely to seek out the ability to stream it on demand. Likewise, featuring multiple programs from comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is another attempt to lure a large, loyal following to the HBO Max service. DC Comics is another content brand with a dedicated following.
Is HBO likely to talk you into a trial run with one of these content offerings? Let us know if you’re interested in giving it a spin and what content has you the most excited for launch!