Warner Bros. Discovery has officially named its new combined streaming offering Max. The news was announced at an event on the studio lot in Burbank on Wednesday.
Max will feature regular, fresh content with an average of more than 40 new titles and seasons every month, the company said. With a library of iconic favorites, Max will offer a world-class collection of globally recognized brands, franchises, series and characters. Audiences will be able to explore the worlds of HBO, the DC Universe and ‘Harry Potter‘ — plus hit movies, original series and fan-favorite genres like true crime, reality, food and comedy — all in one place.
“The Max service is a wide-ranging mosaic of content that will be unmatched in the breadth, reach, and excellence of its offerings,” HBO and Max Content chairman and CEO Casey Bloys said. “We are unique because we have the best-in-all-categories across the board by any measure – be they ratings, awards, fandom. We know we can satisfy any craving because we have the brands that people love. At Max, they will find what they want, when they want it.”
Max is slated to officially launch on May 23.
The combined service will offer three pricing tiers: Max Ad Lite, Max Ad-Free and Max Ultimate Ad-Free.
Max Ad Lite, which costs $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year, will offer subscribers up to two concurrent streams, 1080p resolution, no offline downloads and 5:1 surround sound quality. Max Ad Free, which costs $15.99 per month or $149.99 per year, gives 30 offline downloads in addition to the two concurrent streams, 1080p resolution and 5:1 surround sound quality.
Max Ultimate Ad Free, which costs $19.99 per month or $199.99 per year, will offer up to four concurrent streams, 4K HD resolution, 100 offline downloads and Dolby Atmos sound quality. The Ultimate Ad-Free tier will have an expanded catalog of content available in 4K UHD including key programming such as “Game of Thrones,” “The Last of Us,” “Harry Potter,” “Lord of the Rings,” The Dark Knight Trilogy and more. All Warner Bros. movies released this year and going forward will also be available in 4K UHD when they arrive on Max following their theatrical windows.
Existing HBO Max subscribers will have access to Max at the same price as their current subscription and can access their current plan features for a minimum of six months following its launch. HBO Max subscribers’ profiles, settings, watch history, “Continue Watching” and “My List” items will also migrate to Max, so they can pick up streaming right where they left off.
A new video playback experience will deliver smooth and cinematic video to users, wherever and however they prefer to watch. Max will also expand personalization beyond just the home page,
offering a differentiated and high-performing experience for every user across the whole service.
At launch, Max will introduce a default kids profile for new subscribers along with accompanying parental controls. Parents can choose to customize settings and select to limit content for the kids profile by
ratings: little kids (TV-Y), big kids (TV-Y7, TV-Y7-FV), big kids plus (TV-G, G), preteens (TV-PG/PG), or teens (TV-14, PG-13). Parents will also have the ability to set individual profile PINs to lock access to their adult profiles, as well as a parent code to lock their children inside of the Max kids experience
The relaunch comes as the entertainment giant has been undergoing a major restructuring, which it expects to complete by the end of 2024. WBD estimates the moves, including layoffs and other cost cuts, will result in up to $5.3 billion in restructuring charges before taxes, including up to $3.5 billion in content impairment and development write-offs.
In addition to the combined offering, Discovery+ will continue as its own separate, lower-priced service. The company also plans to launch its own free, ad-supported streaming (FAST) service this year.
In December, the company revealed that it would pull “Westworld,” “The Nevers,” “Raised By Wolves,” “FBoy Island,” “Legendary,” “Finding Magic Mike,” “Head of the Class” and “The Time Traveler’s Wife” off of HBO Max and license the shows to third-party FAST services. In January, Warner Bros. Discovery struck deals with Roku and Fox’s Tubi to license 2,000 hours of content from HBO, HBO Max, Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Warner Bros. Pictures and Warner Bros. Television and launch a series of channels to carry its movies and television shows.
As of the end of 2022, Warner Bros. Discovery had a total of 96.1 million direct-to-consumer subscribers across HBO Max and Discovery+.