HBO Max to Relaunch as 'Max' on May 23 With Combination of Content from Discovery and HBO The service will offer a new subscription tier and programming for all age ranges.
HBO Max is nixing the HBO and relaunching simply as Max, Warner Bros. Discovery announced on Wednesday at a press event. The service will officially launch on May 23, 2023.
"This new brand signals an important change from two narrower products, HBO Max and Discovery+, to our broader content offering and consumer proposition," said Warner Bros. Discovery president and CEO of global streaming and games, JB Perrette, at the press event. "While each product offered something for some people, Max will have a broad array of quality choices for everybody."
HBO Max subscribers will have their accounts updated to the new service in May with the option of adjusting their subscription. The cost of Max will remain at $16 a month (the current cost of HBO Max's ad-free subscription), but will also have other tier options ranging from Max Ad Lite ($9.99 a month), Max Ad Free ($15.99), and Max Ultimate Ad Free ($19.99 a month).
The Max Ultimate Ad Free option is new. Unlike the other two subscriptions, which include access to two concurrent streams and 1080p resolution, Max Ultimate Ad Free includes access to four concurrent streams and up to 4K UHD resolution.
In regard to the rebrand and name change, Perrette noted that it wants to expand its viewership to "kids and families."
"We all love HBO. And it's a brand that has been built over five decades to be the edgy, groundbreaking trendsetter in entertainment for adults," she said at the event. "But it's not exactly where parents would most eagerly drop off their kids."
Max will offer the same HBO originals such as "The White Lotus" and "Euphoria" as well as familiar collections such as the DC Universe and Harry Potter. However, the new service will also incorporate Discovery's slate of shows ranging from true crime and food programming to reality favorites like "90 Day Fiance."
Prior to the official announcement, Julia Alexander, director of strategy at research firm Parrot Analytics, told The New York Times that the merger would likely increase user engagement by incorporating more variety apart from HBO's series-driven content.
"You're opening HBO Max once a week and might not open it up for the rest of the week," Alexander told the outlet. "They want you to open it two, three or four times a week. Unscripted programming creates that increased engagement."