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Max Is for Everyone, Including Harry Potter and Game of Thrones Fans

Everything to know about Max, Warner Bros. Discovery's new, combined streaming service.
  • Max is banking on more Game of Thrones and Harry Potter to entice subscribers. (Photo: Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO; Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection)
    Max is banking on more Game of Thrones and Harry Potter to entice subscribers. (Photo: Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO; Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection)

    Warner Bros. Discovery has announced the launch of its new streaming service, Max, which will combine programming from HBO Max and Discovery+ on one platform. Max debuts on May 23 and promises 40 new titles and seasons every month, with subscriptions starting at $9.99 per month. During a press event on April 12, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav emphasized the company’s intention to reach as broad of an audience as possible with Max.

    “Max is the one to watch because we have the largest TV library in the world,” Zaslav said. “It’s the one to watch because it’s the place any member of the household can go to watch whatever they want at any time.”

    According to The New York Times, the launch of Max is part of the company’s plan to have its streaming division break even next year, with a large focus on profitability over subscriber numbers. As of now, Warner Bros. Discovery’s streaming services currently have 96.1 million subscribers — that number pales in comparison to Netflix’s 231 million and Disney’s 235 million.

    But of course, while low-budget shows, like the unscripted content that dominates Discovery+, generate profits, eventually it does all come down to adding subscribers. That’s been the main thrust behind combining the two existing services into one. According to Zaslav, HBO Max’s groundbreaking programming entices subscribers, and the Discovery+ library’s focus on “comfort watches” keeps them on the service.

    When does the Max streaming service launch?

    Max debuts on May 23. On that day, HBO Max subscribers will automatically have their subscription transferred to Max. The app should carry over all profiles, watch histories, and billing information. Those already subscribed to HBO Max and Discovery+ can expect an easy transition. For Discovery+ subscribers, it will be business as usual — that streaming service will continue to stand alone, separate from Max.

    What TV shows are streaming on Max?

    Along with the existing libraries from HBO Max and Discovery+, there are several new original series in the works at Max. These include a series based on The Conjuring films, Rick and Morty: The Anime, kid-friendly animated prequel Gremlins: Secrets of the Mogwai, dating reality show Love & Translation, and Park Chan-wook drama The Sympathizer. If the streamer intends to reach its goal of releasing 40 new titles and seasons each month, there will likely be many more series announcements to come.

    Max is banking on the expansion of successful franchises to draw new subscribers. Max announced Game of Thrones prequel A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight, which will be written and produced by George R.R. Martin and Ira Parker. The series will take place 100 years before Game of Thrones, when the Targaryen line still held the Iron Throne, and follow the knight Ser Duncan the Tall, and his squire, Egg.

    It was also confirmed that J.K. Rowling will produce the streamer’s Harry Potter series, a project that will be produced and released over the course of a decade. Each season will “be authentic to the books” and dive deeper into those stories, with an entirely new cast set to take over for the film's original stars.

    Max also revealed a spin-off of The Big Bang Theory is in the works, marking the second series that Chuck Lorre will produce for a Max after the upcoming comedy How to be a Bookie. Additional details about the plot and others involved in the spin-off have not yet been announced.

    How much does Max cost?

    Max pricing will remain mostly the same: $9.99 per month for an “Ad-Lite” version, and $15.99 per month for an ad-free plan, plus $19.99 per month for a new “Ultimate” plan that offers 4K video, four concurrent streams, and 100 offline downloads. In an attempt to optimize monetization, the Warner Bros. Discovery marketing team can now make pricing changes within a day — for users, that means that subscription pricing could change at a moment’s notice.

    Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R. 

    TOPICS: Max, Discovery+, HBO Max, The Big Bang Theory, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Warner Bros. Discovery