WarnerMedia, owned by AT&T, will launch HBO Max in May 2020 for $14.99 per month. At launch, the library will include 10,000 hours of content. It will expand to Europe and Latin America later.
HBO Max for $15/month
At its big event, the company announced more details about the upcoming HBO Max streaming service that will take on Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+ and other services from May 2020.
At launch, HBO Max will be available in the US for $14.99 per month. Existing AT&T HBO customers and HBO Now (direct-billed) subscribers will get HBO Max at no additional cost, the company said. HBO Max was rumored to cost more but will instead carry the same price as HBO Now today, despite its much larger content library that covers everything from cartoons to mature content.
The plan is to expand HBO Max to Europe and Latin America later. The company is projecting 75-90 million "premium" subscribers (of which 60 million domestic) across the US, Latin America and Europe by year-end 2025. The company confirmed that it will also introduce an ad-supported version within the first year.
- "With this entire company coming together, we will have one of the most robust collections of premium streaming content that will appeal to all demographics in the household, and be able to achieve incredible scale and reach right out of the gate,"said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of WarnerMedia Entertainment. "We couldn’t achieve this without AT&T’s unprecedented and enthusiastic support. When you live in a world with ‘dragons’ — it feels very good to have one of your own in the game!"
User interface & features
Throughout the year after launch, HBO Max will roll out "new features and functionality not found on any other streaming platforms today".
This includes 'recommended by humans' where "talent and influencers will make recommendations to our users about content they love" as well as 'co-viewing' that allows viewers to "create shared watch lists and view with members of their household without impacting their personal profiles". It also highlighted 'content hubs', user profiles, kids' profiles, and downloads for offline viewing.
No details regarding picture/audio quality or platform support were announced.
Here are some screenshots from the user interface.
10,000 hours of content
HBO Max will launch with 10,000 hours of premium content, including 1800 film titles and the entire HBO library, the company said. It will also cover content for kids, young adults, and families, spanning movies, TV programs, documentaries, comedy specials, and eventually live and interactive content.
- "In addition to series, specials and docs, HBO Max will have 1,800 film titles at launch that will cover every genre, taste and fan interest, including HBO’s vast collection/library of new theatrical hits and beloved classics. Global blockbuster franchises from Warner Bros. including The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Gremlins and the Lego movies will be available in the first year, along with every DC film from the last decade including Aquaman and Joker, and every Batman and Superman movie from the last 40 years."
The library will include content from Warner Bros., New Line, DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes, and more.
Some others highlights include Friends, The Big Bang Theory, and South Park. More highlights and new originals are included in the table below. A more extensive list can be found here.
WarnerMedia says that HBO Max will be more comprehensive than competing services, which is reflected in the price and the name (Max). It will launch around the same time as NBCUniversal's Peacock service and half a year later than Apple TV+ and Disney+.
Can HBO Max meet AT&T's lofty goal of 75-90 million subscribers by 2025? Time will tell but AT&T is investing a lot in HBO Max that launches at a time where its traditional pay TV services are bleeding subscribers at a rate of over 1.3 million households per quarter.
HBO Max - highlighted content & features
New Max Originals announced today include:The Fungies!, from Stephen Neary and Cartoon Network Studios, is a prehistoric comedy that explores Fungietown through the whimsical quests of Seth, a young student at Fungietown Elementary.
Tig N’ Seek from Myke Chilian and Cartoon Network Studios is about 8-year-old Tiggy and his gadget-building cat, Gweeseek, as they search for the lost items of Wee Gee City. With Tiggy’s cheerful attitude and Gweeseek’s exceptional inventing capabilities, the duo humorously navigate day-to-day dilemmas at the Department of Lost and Found.
Tooned Out, executive produced by Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump; Cast Away; Back to the Future), is a half-hour, hybrid live-action and animated comedy. Things get a little cartoony for Mac when he starts seeing iconic cartoon characters in his life, but they’re not just there for laughs, they’re helping him get through a very rough patch in his life.
Looney Tunes Cartoons, an all-new series of 80 eleven-minute episodes and holiday-themed specials from Warner Bros. Animation starring the cherished classic Looney Tunes characters for today’s kids. Iconic characters will include Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Tweety, Sylvester, Granny, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Tasmanian Devil, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote and many more.
Jellystone, a new animated children’s comedy series from Warner Bros. Animation that will welcome viewers to the town of Jellystone, where their favorite Hanna-Barbera characters live, work, play, and stir up trouble together.
DC Super Hero High is a half-hour comedy series executive produced by Elizabeth Banks (Charlie’s Angels, Pitch Perfect, Shrill), which follows a group of students experiencing the fun and drama of adolescence at a boarding school for gifted kids. These teens are just trying to navigate the pressures of high school, but none of them realize that someday they will become legendary DC Super Heroes.
Rap Sh*t (working title) from Issa Rae (Insecure; A Black Lady Sketch Show) is a half-hour comedy series that follows a female rap group from outside of Miami trying to make it in the music industry.
College Girls (working title), the latest series from Mindy Kaling (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Late Night, The Mindy Project, The Office), is a 13-episode half-hour, single-camera comedy following three 18-year-old freshman roommates at Evermore College in Vermont who are equal parts lovable and infuriating.
Strange Adventures, a DC Super Hero anthology series executive produced by Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Titans, Doom Patrol), will feature characters from across the DC canon. This one-hour drama series will explore close-ended morality tales about the intersecting lives of mortals and superhumans.
A Green Lantern inspired series from Berlanti Productions that will finally introduce characters from this iconic comic in Berlanti’s biggest series yet.
A Series of Stand Up Specials presented by Conan O’Brien will feature five new comedy specials. O’Brien will host two specials, featuring short sets from multiple up-and-coming comics while also curating one-hour sets from three comedians. In addition HBO Max has purchased the rights to a one-hour special from comedian James Veitch.
Raised by Wolves, an epic serialized sci-fi series executive produced and directed by Ridley Scott (The Martian, Blade Runner, Alien: Covenant) centering on two androids tasked with raising human children on a mysterious virgin planet.
Bobbie Sue is a feature-length film starring Golden Globe® winner Gina Rodriquez (Jane the Virgin) following the story of a headstrong young lawyer who lands a career-making case with an upper crust law firm, only to realize she’s been hired for optics and not her expertise.
New HBO original announced today:House of the Dragon, a 10-episode, straight-to-series order “Game of Thrones” prequel. Based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, the series, which is set 300 years before the events of “Game of Thrones,” tells the story of House Targaryen. Co-created by George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal. Emmy award winning director Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal will partner as showrunners and will also serve as executive producers along with George R.R. Martin and Vince Gerardis. Sapochnik will direct the pilot and additional episodes of the series, which will be written by Condal.
Newly Acquired and Library Titles:
In addition to the new original titles mentioned above, HBO Max also announced today a number of classic and library titles that will be coming to the streamer in its first year of launch, including: South Park, Rick & Morty, The O.C., Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Robot Chicken, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, The Bachelor, Impractical Jokers, The Closer, Rizzolli and Isles, Major Crimes, The Alienist, The West Wing, United Shades of America with Kamau Bell, This is Life with Lisa Ling, and Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.
In addition, a collection of classics from the libraries of Looney Tunes, Merrie Melodies and Hannah Barbara will be available at launch.
- Recommended By Humans – HBO Max will combine Human Powered Discovery and analytics in novel ways to make it much easier for viewers to quickly find the content they are passionate about. Here, talent and influencers will make recommendations to our users about content they love, in the form of short, authentic videos to talk about how they’ve fallen in love with it and why.
- Co-Viewing – Research shows that many viewers are aware of how viewing with others can throw off their recommendations. HBO Max is solving this co-viewing challenge by allowing viewers to create shared homepages that are completely separate from their personal homepages, but tailored to the group’s likes and needs. They can create shared watch lists and view with members of their household without impacting their personal profiles.
HBO Max will also offer standard direct-to-consumer features, such as:
- Content Hubs: Content hubs feature clusters of content from recognizable brands that attract passionate audiences.
- Personalized Profiles & Homepages
- Kids’ profiles and Parental PIN usage
- Downloads for offline viewing