HBO Max is pretty new as a streaming service. However, HBO has built up a strong reputation as a premium channel with many beloved and long-running series. It has had several classic series like The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, and Curb Your Enthusiasm that have kept viewers hooked for decades.
With its newest entry into streaming, HBO Max, HBO makes all of its current programming and classic favorites available for viewing at your convenience. While there is a lot of competition in the streaming market right now, you won’t want to overlook HBO Max as it has a ton to offer.
There’s a lot of info to cover regarding the content offered on HBO Max, pricing options, and the history of the service itself. Here’s everything you need to know to determine if an HBO Max subscription is worthwhile for you.
HBO Max: A Brief History
HBO Max is still a relatively new service, but it already has a history of undergoing some transformations. WarnerMedia, HBO’s parent company, announced in 2018 that it plans to create a streaming service to host content from all of its entertainment brands, including HBO and Warner Bros. Pictures. The service was officially launched on May 27, 2020.
HBO Max has another change on the horizon, though, with plans to gradually merge Discovery+ into HBO Max after Discovery merged with a branch of WarnerMedia to form Warner Bros Discovery this year. The goal is to offer a single unified service sometime in 2023.
How Much Does It Cost?
HBO Max starts at $9.99 per month for its basic ad-supported plan. You can also save some money by purchasing an annual subscription for $99.99. There is also an ad-free plan that costs $14.99 per month or $149.99 per year, which offers some additional perks, including the option to stream content in 4K and the ability to download content to watch later.
While you’re probably sick of paying monthly fees for all of the different streaming services, it is worth noting that HBO’s content has always come at an additional monthly cost. Many of the shows you see on services like Paramount+ are also shown on networks like CBS that are included with most people’s cable television bundles. HBO’s television shows and movies have always been premium content. TV providers typically charge an add-on fee similar to HBO Max’s subscription costs for subscribers that want to access HBO as a channel.
If you already have HBO through your cable provider, you may have access to HBO Max with your existing subscription. Learn how to verify if you have access through your TV provider here.
What Content Is Available on HBO Max?
HBO Max offers a ton of high-quality shows and movies, and it is constantly coming out with new content. Many of their most popular shows also have a ton of seasons to watch on the service, so it’s perfect for binging. The service also has a good mix of content for adults, teens, and kids — just be sure to monitor what your kids are watching, as much of HBO’s original content features adult themes and imagery.
HBO is primarily known for its award-winning original television series. So, of course, HBO Max provides subscribers access to all of those old favorites as well as brand new series.
One nice feature of HBO Max is that new episodes of HBO shows are published onto the HBO Max platform at the same time that they air live on HBO. Many streaming services wait until the next day to publish new episodes of shows aired on traditional TV channels, but with HBO Max, you can watch along with everyone else as soon as a new episode starts. This is great if you were hoping to Live Tweet along with the newest Euphoria episode or are worried about encountering spoilers on social media!).
Here are some of the television shows that you can find on HBO Max:
- And Just Like That
- The White Lotus
- Mare of Easttown
- Game of Thrones
- Gossip Girl (original and reboot)
- The Sopranos
- Curb Your Enthusiasm
- True Blood
- Doom Patrol
- Young Justice
- Babylon 5
- Made for Love
HBO Max offers a number of new original films as well as a ton of classics. In addition, it has robust offerings from some of the major movie franchises like Dune, Harry Potter, and the DCU. Because HBO Max is part of WarnerMedia, it’s even gotten some special releases in recent years on the platform of Warner Bros films that are still in theatres. Here are some of the titles that you can find on HBO Max:
- King Richard
- Free Guy
- Promising Young Woman
- Zach Snyder’s Justice League
- Harry Potter series
- Fantastic Beasts
- West Side Story
- Death on the Nile
- Nightmare Alley
- Space Jam
In addition to its array of popular shows and movies, HBO is also known for its groundbreaking documentaries, often revolving around current issues or events or notable true crime cases. Some of its most popular titles are:
- The Inventor
- I Love You, Now Die
- Going Clear
- Murder on Middle Beach
- The Vow
- Mommy Dead and Dearest
- The Jinx
- Phoenix Rising
What Devices Can You Watch HBO Max On?
You can stream content from HBO Max on pretty much any of your preferred devices, including TVs, tablets, and smartphones (Android/iOS). Here’s a breakdown of all the devices you can use to watch HBO Max:
- iPhone or iPad
- Android smartphone or tablet
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- LG TV
- Samsung TV
Where Is the Service Available?
HBO Max is one of the more widely available streaming services. It is available in over 75 countries, including the United States and others throughout Latin America, Europe, and the Caribbean. Here is the complete list of the countries and territories that you can subscribe to and access HBO Max in.
How Does It Compare to Other Streaming Services?
There are many options on the market right now when it comes to streaming services. While all of the available streaming services differ in where they’re available and the devices you can stream them on, the two most significant categories to compare are the content offered and the subscription costs.
We went over HBO Max’s pricing options earlier, but here they are again as a reminder. HBO Max’s basic plan costs $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year, and its ad-free plan costs $14.99 per month and $149.99 per year. For comparison, here are the pricing options for the other popular streaming services:
- Netflix: Its Basic plan costs $9.99 per month. If you want to watch content in HD or stream on multiple screens at once, you’ll need to upgrade to its Standard plan ($15.49 per month) or Premium plan ($19.99 per month). The Standard and Premium plans add HD and Ultra HD, respectively, while increasing the number of screens you can view content on.
- Hulu: The ad-supported plan costs $6.99 per month, while the ad-free plan is $12.99 per month. There is also a Hulu+Live TV plan that provides users with access to Hulu’s content library as well as live TV from a number of top channels.
- Disney+: Disney+ currently only has one tier. You can expect to pay $7.99 per month or $79.99 per year to access its fantastic library of cartoons, Nat Geo, Marvel, and Star Wars content.
- Paramount+: Paramount‘s ad-support Essential plan is $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year. The ad-free Premium plan is $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year and gives users the ability to download content for offline viewing. Both plans include access to NFL on CBS live and 24/7 live news.
- Apple TV Plus: Apple TV Plus is only $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year. While most streaming services like Netflix and Hulu offer originals and content originally aired on other channels or in theaters, the Apple TV Plus subscription only includes Apple TV originals.
HBO Max is one of the most versatile streaming services due to its mix of action-packed movies, family favorites, and gritty television shows. If you’re ready to add another streaming service to your roster, definitely consider HBO Max. The service is constantly expanding its content library, and with its upcoming merger with Discovery+, it sounds like its content offerings are set to become even more diverse.