LOS ANGELES, CA – May 27, 2020 – It’s here, folks! WarnerMedia’s highly anticipated streaming platform, HBO Max, has officially launched today, featuring a leading collection of content curated from across WarnerMedia’s legendary catalog and a roster of new Max Originals, plus fan-favorite acquired franchises and films.
This new direct-to-consumer experience features 10,000 hours of premium content including the entire HBO service; motion picture and TV series from Warner Bros.’ 100-year content collection; highlights from New Line; catalog titles from DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth and Looney Tunes Cartoons; a selection of classic films curated in partnership with TCM; along with a monthly offering of new Max Originals, guaranteeing something for everyone in the household. HBO Max is available starting today priced at $14.99/month from WarnerMedia.
“Today we are proud to introduce HBO Max – a dream that was created and nurtured by an incredible team of talented executives who dedicated the last year-and-a-half to making it a reality for consumers nationwide,” said Bob Greenblatt, Chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer. “However, this is just the beginning of our journey. We will continue to innovate and evolve this one-of-a-kind platform that brings together beloved programming from across the WarnerMedia family and around the world, while also paving the way for the creative voices of tomorrow.”
Having switched my HBO subscription from Amazon’s Prime Video Channels to Hulu a week ago, my HBO channel in Hulu was automatically upgraded to Max this morning. Furthermore, the HBO Now app has been updated to HBO Max and I can link it to my Hulu subscription and login with my credentials for the Max experience. Whether you can get access to an automatic upgrade depends on the deals that WarnerMedia has struck with a number of providers, both in the traditional cable provider realm, or digital streaming realm.
Getting HBO Max
It’s still a bit on the confusing side of how or where to get HBO Max. The simplest way being, if you don’t already subscribe to any form of HBO, then head on over to the HBO Max website and sign up for $14.99 a month. Done. Easy peasy.
HBO Max is now widely available to consumers, including millions of existing HBO and HBO NOW subscribers who can access this greatly expanded offering at no extra cost.
Existing HBO NOW direct-billed customers, as well as those who are billed through Apple, Google Play, Samsung, Optimum and Verizon Fios Internet will get instant access to HBO Max today at no extra cost, with the HBO NOW app automatically updating to the HBO Max app on supported devices.
Current HBO subscribers who get their service and are direct-billed through AT&T, AT&T TV, DIRECTV, U-Verse TV, Cox, Hulu, Optimum, Spectrum, Suddenlink, Verizon Fios TV and select independent cable, broadband, and telco providers through the NCTC like WOW!, Atlantic Broadband, RCN and MCTV, among others, now also have access to HBO Max at no extra cost. Customers can download the HBO Max app and then elect to access it on supported devices or via desktop and log in using their existing provider’s username and password to unlock all of HBO Max.
New subscribers can sign up for HBO Max directly through HBOMax.com or through AT&T, DIRECTV, U-Verse TV, Apple, Cox, Google Play, Hulu, Optimum, Samsung Smart TV, Spectrum, Suddenlink, Verizon Fios, YouTube TV, and select independent cable, broadband and telco providers through the NCTC, including WOW!, Atlantic Broadband, RCN and MCTV. For a full list of providers, please click here.
Users can access HBO Max across a range of supported devices, including Android phones and tablets, Android TV including Sony Android TVs (2016 models and later), Apple devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple TV 4K and Apple TV HD), Chromecast and Chromecast built-in devices, computers (Chromebooks, PC and Mac browsers), select Samsung Smart TVs (models 2016-2020), PlayStation 4 systems, and Xbox One. Please check here for updates as additional devices are added.
As of the publishing of this article, there is still no news of HBO Max being available on FireTV or Roku devices.
To explore all the ways to get HBO Max, visit: www.hbomax.com/ways-to-get
I have been hounding HBO and WarnerMedia for some details on the technical specifications for HBO Max since before launch and they have been pretty mum. Well, now we know — they have launched with no 4K or HDR content or support, but the word is according to some sources, that HBO Max is streaming 1080p at twice the bitrate of HBO Now. According to my own sampling of their content, Max does indeed look much better with fewer artifacts than HBO’s streaming content has historically been known for.
At launch, HBO Max will use screen real estate to encourage discovery and organize content into relevant, timely and personalized components. Viewers will see a sophisticated homepage, genre & category pages, editorialized landing pages, premium trays of curated content and HBO Max hubs which provide an easy on-ramp to discovery for brand-loyal viewers. Through Multi-User Profiles and features such as Continue Watching, My List and My Downloads, viewers will enjoy a customized and personalized viewing experience.
HBO Max is designed to serve the whole family, creating distinct experiences for younger viewers through parental controls, which can be set to customize the kids’ experience, and a PIN that can be set to “lock” kids into a walled garden experience. Content can also be downloaded to enjoy offline.
Max Originals available at launch include Love Life, On the Record, Legendary, Craftopia,Looney Tunes Cartoons and The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo. Throughout the summer, new Max Originals will debut, including Karma, an original second season of the critically acclaimed DC fan-favorite Doom Patrol, an original second season of Sesame Workshop’s animated series Esme & Roy, the return of the critically beloved mystery comedy Search Party, the first of three animated specials of Adventure Time: Distant Lands- BMO, the three-part documentary series Expecting Amy, the adult animated comedy Close Enough, the 1988-set comedy Frayed, the heart-warming British animal rescue series The Dog House, the generational family docuseries The House of Ho, the animated children’s series Tig N’ Seek, and Seth Rogen’s feature-length comedy An American Pickle.
The entire HBO service will be available on HBO Max, bolstering its status as the go-to place for high-quality entertainment. HBO Max features classic HBO favorites like The Sopranos, Sex and the City and The Wire, as well as recent hits, including Game of Thrones, Big Little Lies, Veep,Curb Your Enthusiasm, Barry, Westworld, Succession, Last Week Tonight with John Oliverand so much more. HBO’s summer premieres will also be available on the platform at the same time as they debut on the HBO service, including I May Destroy You on June 7th; Perry Mason, starring Emmy® winner Matthew Rhys, on June 21st; the six-part documentary series I’ll Be Gone in the Dark on June 28th; the fourth season of the anthology series Room 104 airing July 24th; and from Misha Green and executive producers Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams, the drama series Lovecraft Country, debuting this August.
WarnerMedia Portfolio and Third-Party Acquisition Highlights
Highlights of the extensive WarnerMedia portfolio of library programming available starting today include the entire Friends library; the first season of TNT’s The Alienist; the first four seasons oftruTV’s hit show Impractical Jokers; as well as the libraries of The Big Bang Theory, Rick and Morty, Robot Chicken, The Boondocks, The Bachelor, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air; CW shows such as Batwoman, Nancy Drew, and Katy Keene; the first season of DC’s Doom Patrol; The O.C.; Pretty Little Liars; the CNN catalogue of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown; and much more. Soon, the platform offering will continue to grow adding the libraries of Gossip Girl, The West Wing, and more within the first year of launch.
In addition, HBO Max will offer third-party acquisitions including Doctor Who (Seasons 1-11 and the next three seasons); the U.S. premieres of Trigonometry, Ghosts, Home and Stath Lets Flats; the doctor Who spin-off Torchwood; Luther; The Honorable Woman; Ricky Gervais’ original mockumentary The Office; and seasons 17-25 of Top Gear, all as part of the previously announced deal with BBC Studios. Additionally, HBO Max is now the home of Stage 13’s series Independent, Lipstick Empire, horror-comedy feature film Snatchers and the world premiere of Happily Ever Avatar.
HBO Max will also premiere the 51st season of Sesame Street this year, as well as offer customers exclusive access to spinoff series and specials like The Monster at the End of This Show and a new season of Esme & Roy, as well as the show’s entire 50-year library. The platform will also offer the entire 23-season library of South Park this summer, as well as the three upcoming seasons.
Feature Films Available at Launch and Beyond
HBO Max will feature a library of more than 2,000 films within the first year. Also, starting today, audiences will be able to stream all eight films in the Harry Potter film franchise. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald will also be available on HBO Max via the HBO service.
Additionally, Crazy Rich Asians, A Star is Born, Aquaman, Joker, the Alien franchise, the American Pie series, Anastasia, Babe, Die Hard, The Flintstones, In Bruges, The Indian in the Cupboard, Jaws, Moulin Rouge! and Teen Witch will all be available via the HBO service offering.
Viewers will also be able to instantly watch films acquired specifically for HBO Max via Warner Bros., The Criterion Collection, and the acclaimed Studio Ghibli, which is streaming for the first time ever in the U.S. Other films that will be available at launch include Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, The Lord of the Rings, Citizen Kane, Gremlins, and the Lego movies, as well as classic favorites like 2001: A Space Odyssey, An American in Paris, Blood Diamond, Braveheart,Friday the 13th, Godzilla, Gone with the Wind, the Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, North by Northwest, Rebel without a Cause, Singin’ in the Rain and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
Films available throughout the first year of launch include The Matrix, The Goonies, When Harry Met Sally, Blade Runner: The Final Cut, the Lethal Weapon series, Monsters Vs. Aliens and V for Vendetta, every Batman and Superman theatrical release from the last 40 years, along with every DC film from the last decade, including Wonder Woman and Justice League.