Warner Bros. Discovery officially unveiled the title of their newly merged streaming service on Wednesday, and to the shock of almost no one, the internet was displeased.
HBO Max is set to be rebranded as simply Max, and will contain content from both the HBO Max and Discovery+ streaming services. HBO fans took to Twitter to express their discontent with the dropping of the iconic HBO name, which has long been associated with prestige and quality in the television landscape.
“Purposely killing the HBO brand is an insanely bad decision,” one Twitter user wrote in reply to HBO Max’s announcement of the shift.
It should be noted, though, that while HBO Max will go away as a name, the HBO brand will still continue. During Wednesday’s presentation, executives explained that HBO will remain with its own shows and position on the the Max service.
Nevertheless, several users took on sarcastic personas of Warner-Bros. Discovery executives to sum up what they viewed as a terrible decision.
“It’s a good move,” a user wrote of the shift. “The ‘HBO’ brand is associated with some of the worst content ever: ‘Sopranos,’ ‘The Wire,’ ‘Band of Brothers,’ ‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm,’ ‘Veep,’ ‘Deadwood’ and ‘Silicon Valley.’ Good riddance.”
The Sue Sylvester meme never fails:
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Julia Alexander, director of strategy at the research firm Parrot Analytics, theorized that the folding in of Discovery+ content and dropping the HBO moniker might keep people on the app on days when new HBO content isn’t being released, as it will now offer unscripted shows from networks like HGTV and the Food network — what some might call “background” shows.
“Dropping HBO from the name is cementing that ‘we’re not just a home for premium programming,’” Alexander said to the Times. “‘We’re the home for anything you want to watch.’”
One Twitter user, however, summed up this concept a little differently, rephrasing Alexander’s interpretation of Warner Bros. Discovery’s strategy: “To be clear — we also have garbage.”
Some users are also complaining about being forced to pay for both HBO Max and Discovery+ content under one umbrella, when they wouldn’t have paid for Discovery+ otherwise.
However, the new service will have prices similar to that of the current HBO Max cost, depending on the tier a subscriber selects. Max Ad Free, the plan most similar to the old HBO Max subscription, will cost $15.99 a month or $149.99 a year, exactly the same price as the current HBO Max ad-free service. The only difference? Max Ad Free will only stream in 1080p, not 4K Ultra HD. To get the highest quality possible, users will have to select the Max Ultimate Ad Free tier, which will cost $19.99 a month or $199.99 a year.