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HBO Is Becoming Max: Here's When It Launches And What It Will Cost

After more than 20 years of high-quality prestige television – and a messy two years of rebranding, ditching high-profile projects, and losing astonishing amounts of money after the Warner Bros. Discovery merger — HBO is undergoing a big change of its own. If you're used to streaming HBO Max on your television, get ready for a switch.

In their latest bid to compete with the juggernaut that is Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery announced at their April 12 press event that its streaming channel HBO Max will be rebranded. As of May 23, 2023, the service will be called Max — just "Max" — dropping the HBO moniker. Their campaign for promoting this change in service kicks off on April 13.

"Max will stand out amongst streamers by uniquely combining unrivaled breadth and superior quality with iconic franchises and strong product experience, all for great value," the official press release said. Whether your version of "superior quality" is "Game of Thrones" or "Dr. Pimple Popper," you'll find them both on the new streamer, which collects fan-favorite offerings from HBO, Warner Bros., and Discovery (one of these things is not like the others) all in one place. 

Catch old and new content from properties and franchises like DC, "Harry Potter," "The Big Bang Theory," and "Euphoria," along with "Deadliest Catch," HGTV, and "90-Day Fiance." If you already have HBO Max, it will be switched over to the new Max automatically. And if you don't have it, there are lots of options and pay scales available for the experience.

The new Max will be offered at different price points

Warner Bros. Discovery naturally wants everyone to sign up for their new Max service to unlock access to their massive library of movies and television shows, and they're offering three different pricing options to do it. 

The first two options are the same as they are under HBO Max. Their basic service, Max Ad-Lite, costs $9.99 a month, or $99.99 for a full year, while their Ad-Free version is $15.99 a month, or $149.99 for a year. They both include 2 concurrent streams, which means two people can watch Max on different devices at the same time. But with Max, they're throwing in a third option, called Max Ultimate Ad Free, for $19.99 a month or $199.99 for a year. This option is special because it offers four concurrent streams, 100 offline downloads (Max Ad Free offers 30), and viewers can access what the press release calls "an expanded catalog of content available in 4K UHD." Watch Bellatrix Lestrange, Jamie Lannister, or the Cordyceps-infected humans in bigger-than-life form from your living room.

Their website promises the new platform will feature improved performance, smarter recommendations, and genre hubs to help you find your next obsession. And there will be more to watch as they're offering several new series based on existing franchises, including a new "Big Bang Theory" spinoff, a "Harry Potter" television show, another "Game of Thrones" prequel, and "Rick and Morty: Anime." If you're not sick of those series, you're in for a treat.