HBO Max, the new video service of WarnerMedia, launched in United States on Wednesday after months of hype. HBO Max will be taking on Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, NBCUniversal's Hulu and Apple TV. Needless to say, HBO Max's entry will only heat up the video streaming race.
Moreover, HBO Max's launch comes at a time when subscription for video streaming services has been on the rise as more people are staying at home due to the coronavirus-related lockdown. Much like its rivals, HBO Max too has a sprawling catalog of hit shows and movies, plus a big-budget slate of exclusive originals packed with stars.
HBO Max to Heat up Competition
HBO Max's launch is the last of the major five streaming debuts in recent times. Apple TV and Disney+ arrived last November, while NBCUniversal's Peacock and well-funded mobile startup Quibi launched last month. Unlike other HBO apps, Max includes TV shows that were initially aired on other networks and aren't available on competing services like the hit TV show Friends.
The service will be available on Android phones and tablets, Apple's iPhone and iPad and a wide range of smart TV platforms. However, at $14.99 per month, the service — initially available to subscribers in the United States — will be ad free but more expensive than all its rivals Netflix and Disney+. The company also said that it plans to release an ad-supported version early next year, which will be cheaper.
Here's How HBO Max Fits into the Branding
There are several HBO-branded apps like HBO Go, HBO TV and HBO Now, which can make things confusing. Here's how HOB Max fits into the bouquet.
HBO Max: Needlessto the say, the new service is more extensive than both HBO Go and HBO Now. However, it costs $14.99 per month, the same as HBO Now. HBO Max will have additional non-HBO TV shows and movies in it catalog, including big-ticket shows like Big Bang Theory, Friends and Lord of the Rings.
Although expensive than its rivals, the company says HBO Max has 10,000 hours of video. This includes everything available on HBO like Game of Thrones, as well as non-HBO shows like Friends and South Park.
Moreover, subscribers can also download movies and shows. HBO Max supports multiple users. The platform also has an attractive children's section that boats shows like Sesame Street. The kids section has been divided into four age groups 2-5, 6-9, 10-12, and 13 and older, and comes with parental control.
HBO TV and HBO Go: SubscribersofHBO TV through cable company will already be able to access all HBO shows. The will also get a change to access a selection of movies being shown on the cable channel via the HBO Go app. This service is free for all HBO TV subscribers.
HBO Now: HBO Now offers the same set of TV shows movies, TV shows and videos like HBO Go but it is targeted at those without a cable subscription. HBO Max is ideally going to replace it. Those who access HBO Now on Android and iOS will now be relabeled HBO Max through an update today. However, HBO Now service will continue to be available for sale on those platforms which do not have a deal to carry HBO Max.
The service comes at a time when most people are staying at home owing to the coronavirus crisis. Stay-at-home orders and lockdowns by several governments have already seen a surge in subscription for video-on-demand services. HBO Max is likely to benefit from the present situation. Moreover, the option of downloading shows and movies is gives HBO Max and as many people want to save on Internet data during this pandemic.