HBO Max has more than just Friends—here’s the scoop on the streaming service that launches today
From the release of Disney+ to the launch of Quibi, the so-called streaming wars are just getting started. You may have already heard of HBO Max, the subscription-based streaming platform that HBO is adding to the mix. If you have, it’s most likely because that’s where you’ll finally be able to re-watch all of Friends for the millionth time. It’s also where the long-awaited Friends reunion will eventually stream, though that has reportedly been pushed back due to the impacts of coronavirus (sad face). But HBO Max, which launches today, May 27th, is much bigger than just that.
The HBO streaming service has more than 10,000 hours of content that will be available to view wherever, whenever. For perspective, that’s around three times as many hours of TV and movies than Disney+ currently has, but still less than Netflix. Additionally, as a lead-in to HBO Max’s launch, the company made 500 hours of free HBO content available to everyone until April 30th. So, if you’ve gotten hooked on a series like Veep or True Blood this past month, you just might want to consider signing up.
For all of us who love to marathon-watch, the growing list of streaming services (and the finite amount of money our wallets can spare for monthly subscriptions) can make it tough to decide which ones are worth it. We’re breaking down how much HBO Max will cost and what shows will be available to help clarify. Here’s what we know about HBO Max so far.
How is HBO Max different than HBO Now?
Unlike streaming services that are the first of their kind for certain channels (take Disney+ or NBC’s Peacock, for example) HBO Max is the second direct-to-consumer streaming service from HBO. HBO Now (which is different than HBO Go—we know, it’s confusing) is its current standalone streaming service. HBO Now costs the same as the launch price for HBO Max ($14.99). On it, you can watch only HBO original programming (think: Game of Thrones, Girls) and licensed movies.
HBO Max—as its name suggests—has the maximum amount of HBO content, thanks to specific HBO Max Originals. It will also include WarnerMedia movies and TV shows along with the exclusive rights to Friends.
What shows can I watch on HBO Max?
HBO is hoping that HBO Max will become your one-stop shop for watching more than just HBO content. With the tagline “Where HBO meets so much more,” the streaming service will include all of the programming you already love from HBO, plus a slate of new original series. This includes what looks like an adorable romantic comedy anthology called Love Life that’s set to star Anna Kendrick, a late night talk show with Elmo as the host, and a ballroom competition that looks like a real-life version of Netflix’s Pose.
It also features tons of third-party licensed content, including Friends (thank goodness) and movies from Warner Bros., New Line, and DC. This means it has top flicks like Joker, Suicide Squad, Wonder Woman, Casablanca, and The Wizard of Oz.
With WarnerMedia on board, HBO Max also has content from other WarnerMedia brands, including CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and Looney Tunes.
How much will an HBO Max subscription cost?
An HBO Max subscription costs $14.99 per month—though if you are already paying that much for an HBO subscription through your cable provider, it’s easy to switch over. You’ll just need to call your cable provider and cancel HBO channels, then sign up for an HBO Max account.
When does HBO Max launch?
Today! You’re reunited with your favorite Friends characters and so many more on May 27th, as soon as you subscribe.