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Dais Johnston

HBO Max is about to get an even worse name

The merger between Discovery and Warner Bros. has been rocky, to say the least. The two streaming giants each had their own service (HBO Max and Discovery+) and franchises (Game of Thrones and The DCEU on HBO, and 90 Day Fiancé and Shark Week on Discovery, among many others), and both catered to completely different audiences.

Now, months after the initial blending meant the loss of the completed film Batgirl and the cancellation of several projects, Warner Bros. Discovery is looking to merge their two services. That means a lot could be changing in your streaming habits, including the platform’s name.

CNBC reports that the expected name for the upcoming mega-streamer will be “Max,” assuming the moniker is vetted by Warner Bros. Discovery’s lawyers. This would be the next step in a confusing evolution for HBO Max. Originally, streaming HBO required either a cable login (HBO Go) or a streaming-only plan (HBO Now), despite the two apps having identical catalogs.

HBO Max, the catch-all streaming service for HBO, DC Comics, TCM, Adult Swim, and the rest of Warner Bros.’ properties, launched in Spring 2020 and rendered the previous apps defunct. Discovery+ will essentially become another major hub on the new service, bringing along its own properties like the Food Network and the Property Brothers.

This merger is already taking place. The Magnolia Network, the curated selection of home improvement and lifestyle shows founded by Fixer Upper hosts and HGTV royalty Chip and Joanna Gaines, can be streamed through HBO Max or Discovery+. With the dawn of Max, this could become the model for how other Discovery+ tentpoles move to the new streamer.

The CNBC report claims the new app will function similarly to the interface of Disney+. Upon the launch of Disney’s streamer, you can select different tiles advertising different franchises, like Marvel, Star Wars, and Pixar. Max will apparently include tiles that will take viewers to dedicated pages on HBO, Discovery+, Warner Bros, and DC Comics.

HBO already has this tile system in place: If you scroll down to the bottom of HBO Max’s home screen, you’ll see several “hubs,” including HBO, Max Originals, DC, TCM, and Adult Swim. It sounds like more hubs will be added, and the selection screen might get bumped closer to the top of the screen, as these vastly different streaming families begin blending together.

While this announcement is confusing, it ultimately means one less streaming service you’ll have to shell out for, and even more shows on one of the biggest streamers out there. Just get used to sounding like a kidnapper whenever you say, “Yes, I have Max.”

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