Max Faces User Experience Issues with Launch of New App
Warner Bros. Discovery launched the newly rebranded streaming service Max today. This service takes the place of the service formerly known as HBO Max; it retains content from HBO Max and adds new content from Discovery+.
While every high-profile streaming service launch has had difficulties, many users found the transition to Max faced foreseeable challenges as Warner Bros. Discovery was migrating an already popular existing service to a whole new app and domain.
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U.S. customers already subscribed to HBO Max are automatically signed up for Max, and their user data is already transferred.
And, even with the name change, HBO content is in a primary tab at the top of the screen along with the Home button, Series, Movies, and New & Notable releases, proving the importance of the HBO brand to Max and Warner Bros. Discovery.
Issues with Max on launch day
The relaunched streaming service faced technical problems upon launch. Subscribers complained on social media about the Max website, the mobile app, and the TV-connected apps through Samsung and Roku. (The switch to Max today only covers U.S. subscribers.)
Warner Bros. Discovery’s CTO told Variety that teams were on standby to solve customer issues.
ABC also reported that the streaming service was temporarily down on Tuesday, causing even more issues for users who wanted to check it out on launch day. (Later in the morning, the service was up and running.)
Users reported Max freezing upon login and even while watching a show. Many mobile users also had to download a new app to replace the HBO Max app, while others updated their app automatically.
My colleague Olivia Bono tested Max today. She says, “The new Max is, at the time of launch, just HBO Max but worse.” Her thoughts on the redesign can be found in the updated review for Max.
Why is Max … Max?
WarnerMedia launched HBO Max as their subscription streaming service three years ago. The company promised exclusive shows and movies plus all of HBO and content from DC Universe, TNT, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and the Warner Brothers film library, among others.
Two years ago, WarnerMedia agreed to merge with Discovery, Inc., creating Warner Bros. Discovery. New CEO David Zaslav changed HBO Max and removed content as part of cost-cutting measures before announcing a merger with Discovery’s streaming service Discovery+.
The newly merged streaming service was rebranded in April as Max, with the company dropping “HBO” from the streaming service’s name.
However, the streaming service merger is not a complete merger—Discovery+ is still operational and available for subscription, while Max carries content from both Warner Bros. and Discovery.