HBO Max Is Now Just Max
On May 23, 2023, HBO Max and Discovery+ are folding into one streaming service—but not exactly. CableTV.com has the details.
The long-awaited (and, for some, dreaded) merger of HBO Max and Discovery+ into a single streaming service, Max, will happen on Tuesday, May 23, 2023, a month earlier than previously announced. But, Discovery+ will still be available as a standalone service. Also, Max will offer one less simultaneous stream than HBO Max, but more on a new, pricier tier. Confused? Read on.
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New Max name, logo, and color
In May, HBO Max will be rebranded as simply Max with the tagline “The one to watch.” It’s not quite as catchy as the tags we came up with here at CableTV.com, “Maxin’ n’ relaxin’” and “Not to be confused with CINEMAX,” but it’ll do.
The Max logo features a circle within the “A,” a subtle reference to the classic HBO logo, which kind of makes up for the loss of the explicit “HBO” in the name. The overall color scheme of Max will be a deep blue, replacing the obnoxious purple of HBO Max—that hue is now all yours, Roku.
Max pricing and plans
The ad-free and ad-supported pricing tiers of HBO Max will remain, and Max will add a third, even premium-er option. The Max plans:
- Max Ad Light: Ad-supported, $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year, two simultaneous streams.
- Max Ad Free: No ads, $15.99 a month or $149.99 a year, two simultaneous streams.
- Max Ultimate Ad Free: No ads, $19.99 a month or $199.99 a year, four simultaneous streams, 4K and Dolby Atmos capability.
So, the only change to the original two HBO Max plans is one less simultaneous stream—why? We’ve given up on decoding the Warner Bros. Discovery game plan.
New Max content
Max will have all of the same shows and movies as HBO Max (but still minus all the titles it dumped last year), as well as an influx of reality and lifestyle series from Discovery cable networks HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, and Discovery Channel. WBD says this will add up to 40 new shows and seasons a month to Max, making for a “broad array of quality choices for everybody” services combo. Perry Mason, meet Dr. Pimple Popper.
Max has also announced upcoming Warner Bros. IP spinoff shows related to Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, True Detective, 90 Day Fiancé, Fixer Upper, and The Big Bang Theory, as well as new show Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, DC Universe movie The Penguin, and a Rick and Morty anime series. Cool, but we’re still waiting for a Young Larry prequel to Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Discovery+ standalone service
Unlike HBO Max, WBD says Discovery+ is a “profitable service” (ouch), so subscribers who don’t want HBO content mixed in with their home renovation and cooking shows will get to keep Discovery+ as a standalone service for $4.99 or $6.99 a month. So, this is all less of a streaming service merger, and more of a subscription buffet.
HBO Max to Max transition
On Tuesday, May 23, the HBO Max app will update to Max for most users, while some will have to download the new Max app and re-login. Profiles, preferences, and saved shows should be retained from HBO Max, but Max will feature a simplified interface, a new content navigation menu, and new brand and genre hubs. It will also be far less purple—did we mention that we don’t care for the purple? Leave it to Barney and Prince.