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Tom’s Guide
Tom’s Guide
Kelly Woo

Max streaming service price, release date and everything to know about the new HBO Max

Max logo on a television set

Max wants to be the one to watch. The streaming service, set to launch next month, will be an expansion of HBO Max that includes the Discovery Plus library. Both platforms are owned by Warner Bros. Discovery. 

Max: Key details

• Launch: May 23
• Monthly price: $9.99 / $15.99 / $19.99
• Current titles: Succession, The Last of Us, Barry, Propery Brothers, MythBusters, 90 Day Fiancé, Hacks, And Just Like That, Friends, South Park, Last Week Tonight
• Upcoming: Harry Potter series, The Penguin, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms, Fixer Upper: The Hotel

As CEO David Zaslav said, the company's goal is to offer a streaming service that "every member of the household can go to see exactly what they want at any given time."

HBO Max was already Tom's Guide's pick for the best streaming service for its quality content, drawn from HBO, Warner Bros. movies, Cartoon Network and other iconic brands. Now, that content will be augmented by the unscripted fare produced by Discovery, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, ID, Animal Planet and Trvl. 

So, it will be the service to fire up when you want to catch the final episode of Succession, the premieres of House of the Dragon season 2 and The Last of season 2. And, yes, Chip and Joanna Gaines' next Fixer Upper show and Guy Fieri's cooking and dining exploits will be on Max.

Plus, Max will have its own originals, like (former HBO Max shows) Hacks and The Flight Attendant, as well as new series within the universes of DC, The Big Bang Theory and The Conjuring. The most high-profile Max Original is a Harry Potter series adapted from the books featuring a new cast and airing over the course of a decade.

Here's everything we know about Max. 

Max launch date

Max is set to launch in the U.S. on Tuesday, May 23. 

Many HBO Max users will see their apps automatically update to the new Max app, though some users will be prompted to update or download their app. All user names, passwords, profiles and watch histories should transition seamlessly.

Discovery Plus users will not be affected, though they will get offers to sign up.

Max will roll out to other regions over the next couple of years Latin America in fall 2023, Europe in early 2024, Asia-Pacific in mid-2024 and new markets in fall 2024.

Max price and plans

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Discovery)

Max will offer three plans, two of which are the same as HBO Max. The price of the ad-supported plan, Ad-Lite, is $9.99 per month or $99.99 a year. The Ad-Free plan is $15.99 per month or $149.99 a year. Both offer HD video quality and two concurrent streams. Ad-Free also allows for 30 offline downloads. 

A new plan, Ultimate Ad-Free, has been added. For $19.99 per month, users get 4K HDR video quality, Dolby Atmos support, four concurrent streams and 100 downloads. 

Max content

Max will combine the libraries — originals and licensed content — of HBO Max and Discovery Plus. 

HBO Max drew from the brands that once were under the WarnerMedia umbrella, including HBO, Warner Bros. film and television studios, DC Entertainment, CNN, Cartoon Network, TNT, TBS and TCM. Some high-profile titles are Friends, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings films, The Big Bang Theory, The Sopranos, Sex and the City, and the DC superheroes Batman and Superman.

Max will be the streaming home for upcoming HBO projects, like a newly announced Game of Thrones spinoff A Knight of The Seven Kingdoms: The Hedge Knight, as well as True Detective: Night Country. 

Discovery Plus draws from the brands once under the Discovery umbrella, including Discovery, HGTV, Food Network, ID, Animal Planet, Trvl, OWN and Magnolia Network. Some high-profile titles are Fixer Upper, Deadliest Catch, Chopped, Sister Wives, 90 Day Fiance, and Mythbusters. 

Max is where you will be able to find the new Chip and Joanna Gaines' show, Fixer Upper: The Hotel.

Max Originals will come from the full spectrum of brands. WBD has already announced a new Harry Potter television series, which will be a live-action "faithful" adaptation of J.K. Rowling's books. 

James Gunn's DC universe shows will also be Max Originals, as is The Penguin spinoff of Matt Reeves' Batman film. 

Other Max Originals include the IT prequel Welcome to Derry, The Conjuring series The Devil Made Me Do It, a Big Bang Theory spinoff, the docuseries Shaun White: The Last Run, the auto makeover show Downey's Dream Cars. There's also a project for the podcast tour Smartless: On the Road.

Is HBO Max shutting down?

Yes, HBO Max is transforming into Max. On May 23, the app will either automatically be replaced by the Max app or users will be prompted to replace it.

Is Discovery Plus shutting down?

No. Discovery Plus will continue to be a separate streaming service. Its ad-free plan costs $6.99 per month, while the ad-lite plan is $4.99 per month.

Discovery Plus subscribers will receive free trial offers and promotions to try the Max service. 

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