Warner Bros. Discovery has released details about its new streaming platform, which will bring together HBO Max and Discovery+ content, and set the date for its debut.
The highly anticipated Max service comes after Warner Bros. Discovery has previously indicated it intended to see programming from the two platforms under a single service.
Warner Bros. Discovery has set May 23 for the U.S. debut of Max, a platform that will make available three different plan options for subscribers. The launch date and other information about the service were revealed live Wednesday and published in a press release.
The subscription option that includes ads, called Max Ad-Lite, will charge subscribers $9.99 per month, according to Warner Bros. Discovery. For several more dollars, at $15.99 a month, people can get Max Ad Free. A third, Max Ultimate Ad Free, will come at a cost of $19.99 per month.
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Features like the number of concurrent streams, resolution, ability to download content offline and sound quality will vary by plan type, the company said.
Other streaming competitors like Netflix and The Walt Disney Co. already have their own ad-supported tiers, with theirs appearing to come in slightly cheaper than the upcoming Max option. Netflix’s basic plan with ads charges a monthly fee of $6.99 for U.S. users. Disney’s service, Disney+, offers a standalone version with ads for $7.99.
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On the content front, Max will have all HBO Max content plus “best-in-class programing across food, home, reality, lifestyle and documentaries from leading brands like HGTV, Food Network, Discovery Channel, TLC, ID and more,” Warner Bros. Discovery said. It will reportedly have more than 40 new titles and seasons on average each month.
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Some new content viewers can look forward to include a “Harry Potter” series, which will have author J.K. Rowling as executive producer, and a series based on “The Conjuring” horror movies. A “Fixer Upper: The Hotel” show from Magnolia Network and a “Game of Thrones” prequel called “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight,” among others, are also coming.
“This new brand signals an important change from two narrower products, HBO Max and discovery+, to our broader content offering and consumer proposition,” Warner Bros. Discovery Global Streaming and Games CEO JB Perrette said. “While each product offered something for some people, Max will have a broad array of quality choices for everybody.”
A stand-alone Discovery+ service will still be available, according to an HBO Max help center page.
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Warner Bros. Discovery intends for more countries to see Max roll out “by the end of the year,” the company said on the new service’s website. During the fourth-quarter earnings call in February, CEO David Zaslav indicated the company had plans for Latin America “to follow later this year and markets in EMEA and APAC in ‘24” on launches of the combined service, according to a transcript.
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Warner Bros. Discovery said its total fourth-quarter revenues hit $11.01 billion, up from $3.19 billion in 2021’s same three-month period. It had a $2.1 billion net loss for the quarter.
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