Monday, May 27, 2024
From the WireTechnology

All about Max: The HBO Max and Discovery+ combo explained

Get ready to discover everything you need to know about the newest streaming combo on the block: HBO Max and Discovery+. This dynamic duo is taking on the likes of Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu, offering a vast array of content including popular shows like Game of Thrones and Succession. But what led to the merger between HBO Max and Discovery+, and why did HBO Max drop the “HBO” from its name? Find out all the answers to your burning questions about this exciting streaming collaboration.

The new Max: Your questions answered

The new Max has made significant changes to its platform, including merging with Discovery+ and rebranding from HBO Max to Max. These changes have sparked many questions among subscribers, so let’s dive into the answers.

Why did HBO Max merge with Discovery+?

The decision to merge HBO Max with Discovery+ came as a result of the 2022 merger of HBO parent WarnerMedia with Discovery. The companies saw the opportunity to create a combined product that would be a strong direct-to-consumer offering. By combining the content from HBO Max and Discovery+, they aim to provide a broader range of choices for subscribers. This merger allows them to create a comprehensive streaming service that appeals to a wider audience.

Why did HBO Max lose the “HBO” branding and become “Max”?

The rebranding from HBO Max to Max was done to highlight the expanded content offering and differentiate the platform from HBO’s premium “adult” shows. The new Max aims to offer a little bit of everything, including programming for kids, home and lifestyle shows, and popular HBO content. The name “Max” signifies a broader selection of quality choices for all subscribers, regardless of their preferences.

How much does a Max subscription cost?

With the introduction of the new Max, the subscription plans have been revamped. Here are the new pricing tiers:

  1. Max Ad-Lite: $9.99 a month or $99.99 a year. This plan offers 2 streams, 1080p resolution, no offline downloads, and 5.1 audio.
  2. Max Ad Free: $15.99 a month or $149.99 a year. This plan offers 2 streams, 1080p resolution, 30 offline downloads, and 5.1 audio.
  3. Max Ultimate Ad Free: $19.99 a month or $199.99 a year. This plan offers 4 streams, up to 4K resolution, 100 offline downloads, and Dolby Atmos audio.

These pricing tiers provide options for different budget preferences and desired features.

Why did Max remove 4K streaming for some ad-free users?

The decision to remove 4K streaming for some ad-free users caused disappointment among subscribers. Many legacy HBO Max users on the standard $14.99/month ad-free plan received emails informing them about the upcoming changes. Starting next month, those users will need to upgrade to the $19.99/month “ultimate” ad-free plan to regain access to 4K streaming and 4 concurrent streams.

Although this change was announced back in May 2023, some subscribers still feel frustrated by the removal of 4K streaming. While it can be seen as a de facto price hike, it is important to note that the new pricing scheme provides different tiers to cater to various needs and preferences.

What’s on the new Max?

The new Max brings a much wider variety of content, beyond just HBO movies and TV shows. It incorporates shows from Discovery+ that cover home and lifestyle genres, including brands like HGTV, Food Network, Discovery Channel, TLC, and ID. In addition to popular HBO shows like “Game of Thrones,” “Succession,” and “The Last of Us,” Max now offers titles such as “House Hunters International,” “Property Brothers,” “Deadliest Catch,” “Mythbusters,” “Chopped,” “Beat Bobby Flay,” “Say Yes to the Dress,” and “Little People, Big World.”

Max executives have also promised new titles, including a Harry Potter series, a comedy derived from “The Big Bang Theory,” another “Game of Thrones” prequel, a show based on “The Conjuring” movies, and the latest season of “True Detective” with Jodie Foster.

Does Max offer any live sports or news?

Yes, Max now offers live sports through an add-on called Bleacher Report Sports Add-On. For $9.99 a month, subscribers can access a full slate of Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, NBA, and U.S. Soccer events, along with NCAA March Madness matchups. The add-on is available to all Max subscribers, including those on the ad-supported tier. Existing Max subscribers can enjoy the Bleacher Report Sports Add-On for free until February 29, 2024.

Max also provides live news through CNN on Max, a 24/7 news channel powered by CNN. Subscribers can access news programming such as “CNN Newsroom with Jim Acosta, Rachel Solomon, Amara Walker and Fredricka Whitfield,” and “CNN Newsroom with Jim Sciutto.” CNN on Max is included in all Max subscriptions at no extra charge.

Can I still subscribe to Discovery+ on its own?

Yes, you can still subscribe to Discovery+ as a standalone service. The original plan was to consolidate HBO Max and Discovery+ into a single service and eliminate the standalone services. However, Warner Bros. Discovery backtracked on that idea. Discovery+ has continued to offer its own ad-free and ad-supported subscription tiers.

Initially priced at $6.99 a month, the ad-free version of Discovery+ increased to $8.99/month in October 2023. The ad-supported tier remains priced at $4.99 a month. New subscribers can sign up for a free trial of Discovery+.

Where is the new Max available, and when will it launch in other regions?

Currently, the new Max is only available in the United States. However, there are plans to expand its availability to other regions. Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Southeast Asia are scheduled to receive Max next year. This expansion will bring the Max experience to a wider global audience.

In conclusion, the new Max is a comprehensive streaming service that combines the best of HBO Max and Discovery+. It offers a diverse range of content, including popular HBO shows, home and lifestyle programs, live sports, and news. With various subscription options, subscribers can choose a plan that suits their preferences and enjoy the wide array of titles available. As Max continues to expand its availability, more viewers around the world will have the opportunity to experience its offerings.