HBO Max has made an impressive splash in the extremely competitive streaming video market. But at $15 a month, it's among the most expensive choices that don't include extras like live broadcast TV. Today parent company AT&T announced that as of June, it's going to start offering an ad-supported (and presumably less expensive) version of HBO Max.
HBO Max first launched nearly a year ago, bringing the majority of Time Warner Media's catalog under one roof with select high-profile shows and movies from other companies. The service is likely seeing a boost in subscribers, thanks to all the movies Warner Bros. is releasing on HBO Max (alongside limited theatrical runs), and now there are some improvements in store for TV watching.
Last month, HBO announced that Wonder Woman 1984 would debut on its HBO Max streaming service on December 25, the same day it will open in US movie theaters. The film will also be the first title to be available in 4K on the platform. Now, right in time for the movie's launch, HBO is rolling out support for 4K UHD and HDR on select Android devices.
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has led to many public venues closing or operating at reduced capacity, including movie theaters. Some studios have experimented with releasing films on streaming services instead of theatrical releases, occasionally causing fights with theater companies, and now Warner Bros. has announced all of its 2021 films will be released on HBO Max at the same time as they debut in theaters.
WarnerMedia, and its parent company AT&T, is not the best with branding. There were once three individual HBO apps, each catering to a specific use case, but now the company is attempting to consolidate them across all platforms.
WarnerMedia has finally launched its new streaming platform HBO Max today, joining the other online entertainment services under the AT&T umbrella. The service comes with a number of original series on top of the content already available through the other HBO channels, like Game of Thrones, Westworld, Loony Toons, and DC Universe content. The US-exclusive service is free for HBO subscribers and will cost $14.99 a month for everyone else, with an option for a free seven-day trial.
Remote viewing parties have never been more popular, which should surprise no one. For those of you who have been watching TV shows and movies with your friends through the interwebs, you might be pleased to hear that Scener, which touts itself as a virtual movie theater, has just added official support for HBO GO and HBO NOW.
HBO Max is set for a May 27 debut and the rush is on for WarnerMedia to get as many people on board as possible. With AT&T as its owner, that means giving away free access and extended free trials for its wireless, broadband, and TV customers. For the outsiders, though, they can get an introductory rate for their first year.
Warner Media/AT&T already has several streaming/TV services under its umbrella, including HBO Go, HBO Now, AT&T TV, Boomerang, and DC Universe. The company has been working for a while on a more complete streaming service with all the offerings of its existing catalog (plus many more additions) — HBO Max — and now the mega-service has a release date.