Warner Bros. Discovery is set to relaunch HBO Max under the name Max, bringing subscribers a combination of content from Discovery+ and HBO Max.
Per a report from The New York Times, three people with knowledge of the matter said that Max will make its debut sometime in May or June, and that it will cost $16 a month but will have several price tiers, including the inexpensive ad tier. HBO Max costs $16 a month as of January.
The information comes a day ahead of Warner Bros. Discovery executives unveiling plans for the combined streaming service, which include bringing Discovery reality shows like Fixer Upper, Dr. Pimple Popper, and Property Brothers in the same room as HBO Max series and movies like Succession, House of the Dragon, The Menu, and The Last of Us.
Max has since been confirmed to be launching on May 23.
— HBO (@HBO) April 12, 2023
Warner Bros. also confirmed the price tiers, which are as follows:
- Max Ad Light for $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year. Two concurrent streams.
- Max Ad Free for $15.99 a month, or $149.99 a year. Two concurrent streams.
- Max Ultimate Ad Free for $19.99 a month, or $199.99 a year. Four concurrent streams.
The combined streaming service is an idea born out of the infamous merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery made by David Zaslav last year. The $43 billion merger caused controversy by shelving and cancelling projects, including Batgirl and Scoob! Holiday Haunt, as tax write-offs. Animated series were hit the hardest, as Warner Bros. Discovery not only cancelled them but removed them from HBO Max, including Close Enough, Infinity Train, and OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes.
Meanwhile, four Democratic lawmakers wrote a letter to the Department of Justice last Friday asking the agency to reassess the Warner Bros. Discovery deal, saying the merger enabled the conglomerate to "adopt potentially anti-competitive practices that reduce consumer choice and harm workers in affected labor markets," hence the cancellation of several projects. They cited not only Batgirl, which was in its post-production phase, but also the Gordita Chronicles, Demimonde, and The Time Traveler's Wife.
Cristina Alexander is a freelance writer for IGN. She has contributed her work to various publications, including Digital Trends, TheGamer, Twinfinite, Mega Visions, and The Escapist. To paraphrase Calvin Harris, she wears her love for Sonic the Hedgehog on her sleeve like a big deal. Follow her on Twitter @SonicPrincess15.