Max Loses HBO Title as Rebranded Service Launches: What to Know

This morning, Warner Bros. Discovery officially transformed HBO Max into Max.

The rebranded and refreshed streaming service, which was first unveiled in April at an event on the company’s Burbank lot, features a slate of new original programming (known as Max Originals) and an updated user interface that includes content hubs for HBO and HGTV.

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The transition began rolling out late in the evening on Monday and early Tuesday, which did result in a small spike of user issues reported on Down Detector in the early hours around 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. The rollout is expected to continue into Tuesday across the U.S.

HBO Max subscribers don’t need to do anything to transition

To ease the transition, most existing HBO Max subscribers will see their HBO Max apps automatically update to the Max app, though a few users will be prompted to download the app. Existing HBO Max subscribers will also see their accounts move to the new Max system without needing to do anything. Discovery+ will remain as a stand-alone service, though users will have the option to upgrade their subscriptions to Max.

For new subscribers, Max’s subscription costs are as follows:

  • Max With Ads | $9.99/month or $99.99/year
    2 concurrent streams, full HD video resolution, no offline downloads, 5.1 surround sound quality

  • Max Ad Free | $15.99/month or $149.99/year
    2 concurrent streams, full HD video resolution, 30 offline downloads, 5.1 surround sound quality

  • Max Ultimate Ad Free | $19.99/month or $199.99/year
    4 concurrent streams, 4K Ultra HD resolution, 100 offline downloads, Dolby Atmos (with some restrictions)

Max Launch HGTV
The HGTV brand hub in Max

Max is blue, not purple

Visually, the app will open to a refreshed home page that includes a separate tab for HBO programming and content bundling based on genres, like crime, but still maintain some similarities to HBO Max. “We needed to signal change, and in doing that, change was an evolutionary change, not a revolutionary change. We didn’t want to make a sharp left turn and lose all the equity that we had built in HBO Max,” Patrizio Spagnoletto, global chief marketing officer for direct-to-consumer, told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview last month.

The app is also abandoning the purple used in HBO Max in exchange for a blue, which is supposed to be more “broadly appealing” but remain “distinctly different” from other services like Disney+, Paramount+ or Prime Video, according to Spagnoletto.

The logo also maintains a nod to HBO Max with a bull’s-eye in the “A,” though Spagnoletto noted that the fonts are different.

Max Launch CTV Kids
Max Launch CTV Kids

Get ready for more personalization

During WBD’s preview event for Max, JB Perrette, WBD’s president and CEO of streaming and games, said that the updated service would focus on personalized recommendations for users in more places than just the homepage.

The service will also have a dedicated homepage for kids’ profiles that, naturally, does not have an HBO tab.

And for the profiles, Max subscribers will have a bevy of avatars to choose from, including characters from the Harry Potter film franchise, The White Lotus, The Last of Us, Fixer Upper and Property Brothers.

Max Launch CTV Crime Genre
Content genres in Max

New programming

At launch, new Max Originals available on the streamer include SmartLess: On the RoadHow to Create a Sex ScandalWhat Am I Eating? With Zooey DeschanelGremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, Clone High and Bama Rush. Shazam! Fury of the Gods will also be available to stream.

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