In reality, not a massive amount has changed with the launch of the new Max service. Over time, however, the service will begin to look and feel very different to HBO Max. Given enough time, it is likely that Max will seem like a completely different streaming service and product, and that’s because it is.
For those wondering what this actually means in terms of the content that’s on offer, Discovery Plus, what it means for existing subscribers and whether they need a new app, here are answers to those questions.
Max rebrand: common questions (and answers)
Below is a roundup of most of the things you might want to know now that Max has launched.
Before we get started, here’s the official promo video for Max, Warner Bros. Discovery’s The One To Watch streaming service.
What’s the difference between HBO Max and Max?
There are few differences between HBO Max and Max as of right now, but the differences will become clearer over time. For one thing, Max has already started offering even more Discovery Plus-related content than HBO Max ever did. In this sense, subscribers to Max will get more than they did before.
Basically, Max is now the new home of HBO Originals, Warner Bros. films, Max Originals, the DC universe, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. This is in addition to “an expansive offering of kids content, and best-in-class programming across food, home, reality, lifestyle and documentaries from leading brands like HGTV, Food Network, Discovery Channel, TLC, ID and more.”
Another difference is that Max brings with it a new app and experience that Warner Bros. Discovery argues is a lot more polished than the existing HBO Max app.
Some of the areas where subscribers can expect enhancements include a new video playback experience, greater personalization, a more prominent kids experience, a simplified navigation, and an expanded library of 4K content.
When did Max launch?
Max launched on May 23, 2023. While all of the existing HBO Max apps are due to be updated and automatically replaced with the new Max app, this may take some time to happen. For those that don’t want to wait for their apps to update, thy can download the new Max versions from the device’s app store.
In addition, the new Max website is also live and provides subscribers with another way to sign in and start watching.
How much is Max?
The launch of Max has not resulted in a price increase. Instead, all existing HBO Max subscribers will continue to pay the same amount, and anyone who signs up to Max will still be able to subscribe to a $9.99 ad-supported plan or a $15.99 ad-free package.
However, the launch of Max has also marked the debut of a new Ultimate Ad-Free plan, priced at $19.99 per month.
How the three Max plans compare:
|Max||Ad-Lite||Ad Free||Ultimate Ad Free|
|Max Resolution||1080p||1080p||up to 4K UHD|
|Downloads||None||30 videos||100 videos|
|Audio||5.1 surround sound||5.1 surround sound||Dolby Atmos|
What happens to existing HBO Max subscribers?
For the most part, the launch of Max shouldn’t impact existing HBO Max subscribers all that much. Warner Bros. Discovery previously confirmed that there won’t be any increase in price, and that there won’t be any changes to an HBO Max subscriber’s plan.
For example, HBO Max subscribers will find that all of their profiles, settings, watch history, Continue Watching and My List items have automatically been ported over to Max when they sign in.
However, it is worth noting that some existing HBO Max subscribers may see some changes in six months from now. This is due to the introduction of the new Ultimate plan and some of the features, such as watching in 4K, becoming exclusive to the Ultimate plan.
What happens to Discovery Plus?
Nothing. While the new Max service will include more Discovery Plus-related content than HBO Max ever did, Warner Bros. Discovery previously confirmed that there will be no major changes to Discovery Plus.
This not only means that Discovery Plus will continue to operate as a standalone service, but it will also remain priced the same, and offer access to the same library of content.
Why was HBO Max rebranded?
It would seem that Warner Bros. Discovery felt the time was right to begin the next chapter in its streaming journey, and this included the launch of a new unified flagship service.
The new name and branding is designed to better reflect the service as a whole. After all, while HBO Max used to offer more than HBO, HBO itself has become a much smaller and less significant part of Max.