Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) is merging HBO Max with Discovery Plus and rebranding its streaming service to “Max” - a decision that’s been in talks since Discovery and WarnerMedia merged into one company last year.
“Max is the one to watch... It’s the one to watch because it’s the place every member of the household can go to see exactly what they want at any given time,” CEO David Zaslav said.
The switch will officially hit the streaming service on May 23, automatically updating the data, preferences and accounts of existing users seamlessly.
Along with the name change, Max is also introducing a new slate of in-app features such as a video playback experience, more personalization options for users and a default profile setting with stricter parental controls. According to WBD, the revamped service is also making navigation easier for users, with HBO, TLC, Discovery and more having their own separate hubs.
Existing subscribers of HBO Max will also be able to use features of their current plan up to six months after the launch of Max. Meanwhile, new subscribers can choose between three different plans: an ad supported plan that costs $10 a month or $100 a year, an ad-free plan for $16 a month or $150 per year, or an “ultimate ad-free" plan that will go for $20 a month or $200 per year.
The highest tier plan will allow four streams at a time, come with 4k viewing, Dolby Atmos-supported streams and up to 100 show and movie downloads for users to watch, even when they’re offline.
While users say goodbye to their beloved HBO Max service, Discovery Plus will continue to be a standalone streaming app and retain its prices of $4.99 a month for its standard version and $6.99 for the ad-free alternative.
During the press event, the streaming giant also teased a new slate of shows coming to Max, including “The Penguin,”an eight-part miniseries based on Matt Reeves’ Batman universe, “Welcome to Derry,” a prequel to the “It”trilogy, a Harry Potter reboot and many more.