HBO Max is one of the big streaming service launches in 2020, right alongside NBCUniversal’s Peacock, which already had a soft launch and will be available nationally in July. WarnerMedia’s HBO Max has some tough competition going up against streaming giants Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hulu. However, it’s huge back catalog should give it a good head start.
One of the more confusing things about HBO Max, for some people, is its difference between the already established HBO Go and HBO Now, and if you can access any of the same content through an already-available app.
Those who subscribed to HBO Max prior to launch also get access to HBO Now, and current HBO Now subscribers get access to HBO Max. If you access HBO Now through a third-party apps Apple, Google Play, Samsung, Verizon Fios internet, Optimum, Consolidated Communications and Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico, you will also get immediate access.
Unlike Peacock, Netflix, and Hulu, there is not a tiered pricing system for HBO Max. The service costs $15 a month, which is $1 less than Netflix’s premium tier. This is for an ad-free experience as well. Both Peacock and Hulu have cheaper tiers, but you’ll have to watch advertisements.
HBO Max is more than just HBO. It contains television and movies from many different places under the WarnerMedia property banner. There will be over 10,000 hours of curated content, and celebrities–like Zac Efron–will offer up suggestions for what to watch on the service in personal curation videos.
Additionally, HBO Max has partnered with Crunchyroll to offer up some high-quality anime content on the streaming service. 17 titles will be available at launch, including Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Berserk, Rurouni Kenshin, and more. Also, the full Studio Ghibli animated library will be available including Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke, and Spirited Away.
Here are some of the properties you can find on HBO Max. Many of these are in the Max Hubs section of the app.
HBO Max is offering a decent amount of original content at launch, but there isn’t a lot of hype surrounding its original content–even though Elmo’s late night talk show looks delightful. Six originals arrived at launch–five series and one documentary–and below, you’ll find the full list. You can find more details about the original series here.
Additionally, there are more notable originals planned like the Green Lantern series, an Adventure Time continuation, DC’s Strange Adventures, and Season 2 of the DC Universe series Doom Patrol, which will arrive on June 25. HBO Max has released the upcoming slate of original programming as well. And there is a lot in the works for the streaming service.
While there is a lot in the works, HBO Max is offering subscribers to rewatch many of their favorite shows, including HBO’s vast back catalog of TV shows like Sopranos to NBC favorites like Friends as well.
HBO Max is currently available on several different platforms, with Amazon Fire devices and Roku devices being the major exceptions thus far. Supported platforms include: