Release date, price and more

After months of teasing, Discovery of Warner Bros. will officially launch its HBO Max change of name on May 23.

Max, as the streaming service will become known, will introduce a slightly less advanced HBO experience to the popular platform. But given all the product features – and additional content, courtesy of the Discovery+ brand – that will come with it, Max might not be a cause for concern for HBO fans after all.

Here are the fast facts you need to know about Max, as WBD announced in an hour-long press conference on Wednesday.

Max will cost the same as HBO Max, with one exception

When Max officially launches on May 23, there will be three pricing tiers. Max Ad Lite And Max without advertising are mostly identical to current HBO Max offerings. Ad Lite will cost $9.99 per month, offer 1080p content, and won’t allow offline downloads. Without advertising will cost $15.99 per month, stream in 1080p, and offer 30 offline downloads per month.

Then there is the new Max ultimate ad-free option, priced at $19.99 per month or $199.99 for an annual subscription. This will once again allow you to stream in 4K and download content with abandon. Users who currently have these same features while paying $15.99 – the price of the current top-tier plan available for HBO Max – have six months before they’ll be asked to upgrade to Ultimate or lose these additional features. .

The user experience will be much better

HBO Max is notoriously complicated to navigate. A carousel at the top slowly reveals some, but not all, new content to check out, while the rest of the homepage displays rows of various poorly arranged movies and shows. Specific branded hubs also don’t get prominent placement, meaning most users just scroll down their home screen without checking what’s available.

WBD announced a range of product features to make Max much more user-friendly, including tabs at the top of the page with clearly defined categories to browse, such as new app offerings. Users will also receive personalized recommendations for content to check out based on what they’ve recently watched, Netflix-style. Pages dedicated to different genres will also be highlighted, along with those different well-hidden brand hubs. There will also be a handy shortcut to add content to the more organized My List feature.

HBO is going nowhere

Even though it boots the Home Box Office from the name of the streamer, WBD acknowledges that access to HBO is the reason many people subscribe in the first place. One of those shortcut tabs at the top of the home screen will be dedicated to HBO content, so network fans can easily find Succession, Game Of Thrones, And Calm your enthusiasm.

For good measure, the presentation also included news of several upcoming HBO series, from Park Chan-wook and Robert Downey Jr.’s adaptation of The sympathizer to a new Game Of Thrones prequel.

Discovery+ isn’t going anywhere either

Max will add Discovery+’s broader content, which comes from brands like TLC, HGTV and History Channel. But current Discovery+ subscribers don’t have to go anywhere when Max arrives on May 23. WBD will keep the service separate for those who want to watch 90 Day Fiance but not, say, the next Max Original reality show love and translationof 90 days crew.

Although this decision may seem strange – the more content the better, right? – it’s actually a smart business decision. WBD boasted that Discovery+ subscribers are far more engaged and adventurous than HBO Max users, checking out large swathes of content on the service. And they pay a lot less money to do all of this: the ad-based option costs $4.99 per month, while the ad-free plan costs $6.99 per month. If you want to continue watching your Discovery+ content as well as the ad-free HBO and Max Originals versions, you’ll have to pay more than double the cost of your current subscription.

HBO Max’s transition will be seamless

Or so WBD claims. When Max debuts on May 23, most HBO Max users will see their apps updated automatically. Those who don’t will be prompted to update when the service opens. All current user profiles, watchlists and viewing histories will be retained, and there will be no need to update passwords or billing information. Phew!

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