The digital age is well and truly in full flight at this point in time, with the smattering of streaming services set to dominate our entertainment culture, and render cable TV obsolete eventually. The latest indicator of this is the imminent launch of HBO Max.
The new streamer by HBO in conjunction with AT&T was announced at a recent investor’s event for the American telco. There, they announced that HBO Max is set to launch exclusively in the US on May 2020, and will be priced at US$14.99 per month.
Furthermore, those who are subscribed to HBO on AT&T or HBO Now under direct billing will be entitled to HBO Max free of charge when it launches. HBO Max will be available on desktops, laptops, mobile, as well as smart TVs.
Content-wise, HBO Max will launch with a slew of mouth-watering entries that will make you consider subscribing, despite its arguably steep pricing. For starters, it will exclusively stream the likes of Friends and Big Bang Theory (yes, both of which will be taken off Netflix come the new year), as well as stream the entire Studio Ghibli library, South Park, Rick & Morty, Doctor Who, and select anime from Crunchyroll, among others.
While HBO Max is accessible to audiences of all ages, its mature audiences will definitely still be catered to as well, with the likes of Watchmen, Chernobyl, Westworld and Game of Thrones also set to feature. Arguably the centerpiece of this new streamer is the upcoming GoT prequel, House of the Dragon.
Now, will HBO Max be a direct replacement to HBO Now, and possibly HBO GO if and when it does eventually venture outside of the US? Not necessarily, as it is designed to be a hub for all things HBO, and that is what sets it apart from Netflix, Disney+ and Prime Video.
All the content mentioned above will be accessible to anyone in the family, though the streamer recommends age-appropriate content for whoever’s watching together. What’s even cooler is that it doesn’t affect your recommendations when you go back to watching on your own. This has been a problem with the likes of Netflix and Hulu, but it seems HBO has found a way to avert this issue.
Does it still justify HBO Max’s US$14.99 pricing, though? It’s up to you, but this makes it the most pricey streamer to date, compared to the likes of Disney+ (US6.99/month), Apple TV+ (US$4.99/month), and even Netflix (US$9/month).
No news on whether HBO Max will be released outside of the US, which means the rest of the world will still have to settle for HBO GO for now, at least.
Marion has a serious RPG addiction. Sometimes it bleeds into real life; he forgets to sleep because he thinks he has a Witcher’s body clock. Forgive him in advance if he suddenly blurts out terms such as “Mind Flayer” and “Magic Missile”, because never once does he stop thinking about his next Dungeons & Dragons game.