Warner Bros. Discovery on April 12 unveiled Max, a streaming service that combines its HBO Max and Discovery+ offerings. The new streaming service will launch in the U.S. on May 23, per a press release.
Max will house content from the Warner Bros. Discovery catalog, including HBO Originals, Warner Bros. films, the DC universe, the world of Harry Potter and a range of programming from its HGTV, Food Network, Discovery Channel and TLC brands. The offering combines the premium, prestige content of HBO Max with the Discovery+ portfolio, which focuses on food, home, reality and lifestyle programming.
"This new brand signals an important change from two narrower products, HBO Max and discovery+, to our broader content offering and consumer proposition. While each product offered something for some people, Max will have a broad array of quality choices for everybody," said JB Perrette, president and CEO for global streaming and games at Warner Bros. Discovery, in the release.
Max will feature three pricing options, beginning at an ad-lite option that costs $9.99/month or $99.99/year and does not offer offline downloads. Max Ad Free costs $15.99/month or $149.99/year and includes offline downloads, while Max Ultimate Ad Free is available for $19.99/month or $199.99/year and ups the number of concurrent streams from two to four and offers other audio-visual upgrades.
Max is being positioned as a streaming service for all ages and interests and promises more than 40 new titles and seasons every month. Along with announcing the new service, Warner Bros. Discovery laid out an impressive slate of new programming that leverages the media conglomerate's IP reservoir.
Newly announced titles include a new adaptation of the "Harry Potter" book series, a comedy spin-off of "The Big Bang Theory," a "Game of Thrones" prequel and a drama series based on "The Conjuring" film series. Max also previewed "The Batman" spin-off "The Penguin," "True Detective: Night Country" and HGTV's four-part "Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge," which will also stream on Max.
Max also promises improved technical features, including a new video playback experience, personalization that relies on both machine learning and human curation, a more prominent kids experience and simplified navigation. Executives also nodded to addressing performance issues that have dogged HBO Max.
"Our incredible team has been hard at work taking the best of both legacy technology platforms to deliver a product that works much better," Perrette said in the press release. "We're confident that all these enhancements will deliver a stronger experience for our customers, which will drive more engagement, help enhance retention, and improve customer satisfaction, which in turn will help us continue to scale."
The combined Max streaming service is a main component of the merged Warner Bros. Discovery. Executives have said they expect the streaming business to break even by 2024 and yield $1 billion in profit by the end of 2025. Warner Bros. Discovery completed its merger in April 2022 but lawmakers this week called on the Department of Justice to investigate whether or not the merged company has harmed workers and reduced consumer choice.