The streaming wars are here — and whether you like it or not, it’s time to pick a side. Netflix and Hulu are no longer the only games in town, and offerings from companies like Apple and Disney are set to disrupt the streaming ecosystem even further. Click or tap to see what Disney is bringing to the table with its new Disney+ service.
But one new face in the fray might have a much larger impact than originally anticipated. HBO, now partnered with telecom giant AT&T’s Warner Media, has announced its own foray into streaming. It’s bringing an impressive catalog of shows, movies and classic media directly to your living room screens and and mobile devices — but will that be enough to overthrow its rivals?
We have the latest information on HBO’s new streaming platform, as well as what it brings to the table. Plus, we’ll discuss how it stacks up against its biggest competitors so you can make the right choice for your entertainment needs.
HBO unveils HBO Max
At a recent investor’s conference, HBO and parent company AT&T revealed their plans for HBO Max: A new streaming service with a library massive enough to make Disney + nervous. The platform is set to debut spring 2020 and will contain more than 10,000 hours of content from a diverse range of creators including HBO, Warner Bros., DC Comics, CNN, TNT, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim and other WarnerMedia properties like Crunchyroll.
Previously, several of these content creators offered their own streaming channels at prices similar to competitors like Netflix and Hulu. Now, all these platforms will see their content under a single banner — which will give subscribers quite a bit more bang for their buck.
Compared to Netflix (which now features mostly in-house originals) and Disney+ (which retains Disney, Fox and NatGeo content specifically), the sheer volume of choices available to subscribers makes HBO Max an instant front-runner in the upcoming battle for your streaming box.
Exclusive content and more
Not content with merely hosting a massive library, HBO Max is set to acquire a number of exclusive streaming rights to some of the most popular shows on the air. At the conference, AT&T announced it obtained exclusive rights to stream “South Park” on HBO Max, as well as the entirety of “Friends” (which is currently on Netflix until HBO Max launches).
In addition to these shows, the entire filmography of acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki will also be streamed via HBO Max. BBC originals “Doctor Who” and the British version of “The Office” will be exclusive to the platform, as is the entire library of classic “Loony Tunes” and “Sesame Street” shows.
But HBO Max isn’t purely sticking to older or external content. Since HBO is one of the parent entities of the platform, original shows like “Watchmen,” “Westworld” and “Big Little Lies” will find their home on HBO Max. This will also serve as a launching platform for other new HBO shows — and just like with HBO Now, you won’t need a cable subscription to get in on the fun.
This all sounds great, but what’s the catch?
As with any streaming service, price is a factor that weighs heavily on customers. If you’re already subscribed to several other services, the price needs to be in a sweet spot where it’s not overly burdensome.
AT&T has other ideas.
With the amount of programming available on HBO Max, the company is betting customers will be willing to pay for more content. No official prices have been posted as of yet, but industry insiders speculate the service will be costly.
For reference, HBO Now currently costs $14.99 monthly. Competitors Netflix and Disney+ start at $13 and $7 per month, respectively. This means HBO Max will likely cost somewhere in the range of $20 or more per month.
But for those of us with AT&T as our mobile carrier, the company may throw a surprise in to sweeten the deal. Rumors point to either discounted or free HBO Max options for AT&T wireless customers, but nothing solid has been confirmed.
Still, investors have been quoted on record for wanting AT&T to “tie a bow on how these media assets fit with its traditional wireless segments.” Expect to hear more on this matter as launch day approaches.
And, of course, we at Komando.com will keep you updated on any new information surrounding HBO Max as it enters the playing field. For a detailed comparison of how current streaming services stack up against one another, click or tap here to learn more.