HBO Max will be relaunched as “Max” and will integrate discovery content

HBO Max cancels HBO and simply relaunches as Max, Warner Bros. Discovery announced Wednesday at a press event. The service will officially launch on May 23, 2023.

“This new branding marks a significant shift from two narrower products, HBO Max and Discovery+, to our broader content offering and consumer proposition,” said JB Perrette, President and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, head of global streaming and gaming, at the press event. “While each product offered something for some people, Max will offer a wide range of quality choices for everyone.”

HBO Max subscribers will see their accounts updated to the new service in May with the option to adjust their subscription. The cost of Max will remain at $16 per month (the current cost of HBO Max’s ad-free subscription), but will also have other tier options ranging from Max Ad Lite ($9.99 per month), Max Ad Free ($15.99) and Max Ultimate Ad Free ($19.99 per month).

The Max Ultimate Ad Free option is new. Unlike the other two subscriptions, which include access to two simultaneous streams and 1080p resolution, Max Ultimate Ad Free includes access to four simultaneous streams and up to 4K UHD resolution.

Related: Warner Bros. inflated HBO Max subscriber count before Discovery merger, lawsuit alleges

Regarding the brand and name change, Perrette said she wanted to expand her audience to “kids and families.”

“We all love HBO. And it’s a brand that’s been built over five decades to be the groundbreaking, groundbreaking pioneer in adult entertainment,” she said at the event. “But it’s not exactly where parents would most happily drop off their children.”

Max will feature the same HBO Originals such as “The White Lotus” and “Euphoria” as well as familiar collections such as DC Universe and Harry Potter. However, the new service will also incorporate Discovery’s slate of shows ranging from true crime and food programming to reality favorites like “90 Day Fiance.”

Ahead of the official announcement, Julia Alexander, chief strategy officer at research firm Parrot Analytics, said The New York Times that the merger would likely increase user engagement by incorporating more variety outside of HBO series-focused content.

“You open HBO Max once a week and you might not open it until the rest of the week,” Alexander told the outlet. “They want you to open it two, three or four times a week. The unscripted programming creates that increased engagement.”

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