After months of waiting, WarnerMedia’s HBO Max streaming service is finally here. Consumers can look forward to a plentiful library of content—including some surprises. Though it’s far more expensive than competing services like Netflix and Disney+, it’s still a pretty good deal.
Subscribers will get access to all of HBO plus a host of other content. From hit TV shows like “The Big Bang Theory” and “Friends” to beloved movie franchises like “The Lord of the Rings” and “Harry Potter,” HBO Max has a lot to offer.
Now that the streaming service is live, here’s what you need to know.
HBO Max Pricing Details
As mentioned, HBO Max costs more than any other streaming service. Subscribers will need to drop $14.99 per month to access it. At first glance, it doesn’t make much sense. However, the pricing is a result of WarnerMedia not being able to undercut HBO pricing—which would violate its agreements with cable providers.
On the bright side, those who already subscribe to HBO through their cable provider will get access to HBO Max for free. Consumers who previously subscribed to HBO NOW can seamlessly transition their account to the Max app and start watching.
Moving forward, the pricing details may change. It’s clear that HBO Max is designed to compete with services like Netflix. Getting the price down will be a key part of that strategy. Don’t be surprised to see a cheaper, ad-supported plan in the future.
Right now, HBO Max is packed with content. WarnerMedia claims that subscribers are able to access more than 10,000 hours of movies and TV. Some of the highlights from the TV division include, “Friends,” “The Big Bang Theory,” the new version of “Doctor Who,” “Rick and Morty,” “The Bachelor,” “Sesame Street,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Batwoman,” “Nancy Drew,” “Pretty Little Liars,” and “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.”
On the movies side, subscribers will find newer hits like, “Crazy Rich Asians,” “A Star is Born,” “Aquaman,” and “Joker” alongside classics like “The Matrix,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “The Lord of the Rings,” and more.
In a surprising turn of events, all eight “Harry Potter” films are also available on the streaming service at its launch.
Meanwhile, HBO Max includes titles from the Criterion Collection and the entire library of Studio Ghibli films.
For superhero fans, the new streaming service includes every DC movie from the last decade, including “Wonder Woman” and “Justice League.” It also has every Batman and Superman movie from the last 40 years.
Of course, since HBO’s content is also present, fans will be able to rewatch hits like “Game of Thrones” (if you can stomach the ending) and “Westworld.”
More to Come
Although HBO Max is launching with plenty of content, its library won’t be stagnant. WarnerMedia has a lot of original programming planned for later this year, including a “Friends” reunion special.
New seasons of “Doom Patrol,” and “Search Party” will arrive alongside “Raised by Wolves,” a science fiction series directed by Ridley Scott.
While this new content is exciting, it may be a while before it arrives. The COVID-19 pandemic has essentially shut down the film and TV industry. As of now, there’s no clear indication of when productions will resume. That means that the release dates of new series remain uncertain.
Still, HBO Max has plenty of content to keep subscribers occupied until that day comes. While it will take some time for the streaming service to ramp up, it looks promising.