HBO Max Announces Official Launch Date, Pricing, and So Much More
[Update, April 21]: WarnerMedia has confirmed its new streaming platform HBO Max will launch May 27. The streamer will join a crowded field of competition that also includes Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, and Apple TV+. NBC Universal’s streaming platform Peacock will launch in July. HBO Max will cost subscribers $14.95 monthly, the same price currently attached to HBO Now. HBO Now subscribers who are billed directly through HBO will get access to HBO Max at launch for no extra cost. HBO subscribers through AT&T’s TV services as well as Charter Communications will be automatically upgraded to HBO Max.
As has been reported below, HBO Max will debut with content from WarnerMedia’s channel network, which includes the likes of Turner Classic Movies, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Crunchyroll, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Rooster Teeth, and Looney Tunes. The streamer has already made big purchase acquisitions such as “Friends,” “South Park,” “The Big Bang Theory,” and Studio Ghibli films. Films released by Warner Bros. and New Line will also be featured, which includes “Joker,” “Godzilla,” “Shazam,” and more.
[Earlier, October 29]: HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service, will launch in May 2020 at around $14.99 per month and take advantage of the company’s expansive content library. WarnerMedia shared a variety of new details about the platform, which will debut with 10,000 hours of content, during an event in Burbank, CA on Tuesday afternoon. The service will be included for HBO Now subscribers and will be available on most platforms, such as modern TVs, phones, and online. HBO Max will also come preloaded on Android devices.
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The company also announced it would introduce an ad-supported version of the service after launch, though representatives did not elaborate on that version’s price. WarnerMedia previously announced that HBO Max would also be free for DirecTV and AT&T TV Now customers. Though HBO isn’t being phased out, the company expects its subscribers to gradually move to the HBO Max streaming service.
HBO Max will host a variety of original and library content, and will also be home to “Game of Thrones” prequel “House of the Dragons,” which will be set 300 years before the original series. For more on that series, read our full report.
WarnerMedia company executives announced a handful of other original HBO Max shows and shed light on the service’s large library of legacy content. The service will have 1,800 movies at launch, and HBO Max’s overall content will pull from brands such as Cartoon Network, CNN, DC, New Line, TNT, TBS, and Warner Bros.
Other original HBO Max projects will include an adaption of DC Comics’ “Strange Adventures” and a series based on “Green Lantern,” which will both come from producer Greg Berlanti. Elizabeth Banks will also executive produce a superhero project in “DC Super Hero High,” a comedy series about a group of boarding school students who eventually become superheroes.
Issa Rae is set to executive produce “Rap Sh&t” (working title) alongside plenty of her “Insecure” producers. The new comedy series will follow a female rap group trying to make it in the music industry. Meanwhile, Mindy Kaling will executive produce, write, and showrun “College Girls” (working title), a single-camera comedy about three 18-year-old freshman roommates.
Ridley Scott’s “Raised by Wolves” also moved from TNT to HBO Max. The new series, focusing on two androids who raise human children on a mysterious planet, marks Ridley Scott’s serialized TV debut as a director. Aaron Guzikowski, who wrote the film “Prisoners,” created the 10-episode drama and serves as showrunner and writer for the project, which recently wrapped production in Cape Town, South Africa.
New animated projects will include four “Adventure Time” specials, an animated series about a young Ellen DeGeneres growing up in New Orleans, and 80 new “Looney Tunes” shorts, in addition to the classic cartoon’s old library. As for comedy, Conan O’Brien and his Team Coco will bring five stand-up specials to the service.
The service will also be the exclusive streaming home of “South Park” and Studio Ghibli projects, the former of which was announced today in a giant exclusive deal reportedly worth more than $500 million. The company previously announced that “The Big Bang Theory” and “Friends” would exclusively stream on the platform. The antics of the “Sesame Street” squad will also be exclusively streamed on the service.
HBO Max will have 31 original series in 2020 and 50 original series in 2021. Most new episodes of HBO Max’s original projects will be released weekly, as opposed to dropping all at once.
“Game of Thrones”
HBO Max will also host a large library of WarnerMedia’s legacy content. For example, the last four decades of “Superman” and “Batman” films, including Todd Phillips’ “Joker,” will be on the service. HBO Max will also offer all three of “The Hobbit” films and “The Matrix” trilogy. A selection of classic movies, including “Citizen Kane,” “The Shining,” and “2001: A Space Odyssey” will also stream on HBO Max, and various films from Turner Classic Movies will eventually make their way to the service.
As for creator partnerships, WarnerMedia previously announced overall deals with a laundry list of Hollywood power players, including JJ Abrams, Caley Cuoco, and Melissa Rosenberg, who are all expected to produce content for the company’s upcoming streaming service.
Even with its expansive library of content, HBO Max will have its work cut out for it in the increasingly crowded streaming industry. The slew of new HBO Max details comes a few days before the launch of Apple TV+ and Disney+, two new platforms that are expected to shake up the entertainment market. Next year will also see the launch of NBCUniversal’s Peacock, while smaller, more specialized platforms, such as Jeffrey Katzenberg’s short-form Quibi service, are also gearing up to carve their own content niches.
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