What is HBO Max?
HBO Max is the company’s latest foray into the world of streaming. The service, which launched in late 2020, combines all the things you love about the premium cable network, while also offering hundreds of shows from other channels — plus a fair amount of new, original content. HBO Max replaced the aging HBO Go app, although it retains much of the same functionality while expanding its catalog in exciting new directions.
With arguably one of the most enticing on-demand libraries, it should come as no surprise that HBO Max isn’t cheap. An ad-supported option is available for $10/mo., but that balloons to $15/mo. if you want everything it has to offer without ads. The platform also doesn’t offer a free trial. That means you’ll want to be sure it’s a good fit before signing up.
HBO Max Compared to Other Services
Among the services listed, HBO Max stands out as one of the best streaming services for its cost. Coming in at $15/mo. for the ad-free version, it’s nearly twice the cost of Hulu. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, as the amount of movies and shows available through the service are on par with the services listed, and it’s roughly the same price as a regular HBO subscription (yes, if you subscribe to HBO, then you already have HBO Max), while it essentially replaces HBO. It is also worth noting that you can only create up to five user profiles with the service, which is small compared to six or seven profiles you can make on services like Hulu and Disney+, respectively.
It’s also worth noting that, while HBO Max is a bit expensive for an on-demand service, it’s leagues more affordable than any of the services that offer live TV. Both Hulu + Live TV and fuboTV start at $65/mo. for a basic subscription — which is over six times more expensive than an ad-supported version of HBO Max.
If you don’t mind opting for the ad-supported version of HBO Max, your monthly fee is actually very comparable to that of other leading platforms. Its lack of live programming is noticeable, but the roster of HBO exclusive shows and movies should more than make up for the omission.
How Much Does HBO Max Cost?
HBO Max offers two plans. The cheapest option runs $10/mo., is supported by ads, and doesn’t include the ability to download shows to watch offline. Programs don’t broadcast in 4K with this plan, either. Instead, you’ll be stuck with Standard HD streams.
Most subscribers will likely spring for the ad-free version of HBO Max, which costs $15/mo. but offers 4K Ultra HD playback on select movies and the ability to download shows for offline viewing.
The price tag may seem a bit steep compared to some other streamers, but an HBO Max subscription gives you access to one of the largest libraries of TV shows out there. Plus, you can always back out of your subscription if you change your mind. Also keep in mind that though HBO Max doesn’t offer a free trial to new users, the service will frequently host promotional preview weekends for interested parties to check out some of the movies and shows they could watch with a subscription.
Learn more about HBO Max
It’s worth noting that you can also login to HBO Max using a cable subscription. If you already pay for HBO as a part of your traditional cable plan you won’t have to pay twice. Just use the “Log in with cable provider” option when you’re creating an HBO Max account. Only current cable provider credentials will work.
HBO Max Titles
HBO Max offers both regular HBO originals and shows that have been produced exclusively for HBO Max. While the streaming service is still building its catalog of original series and movies, it has managed to create a few water-cooler shows — including Hacks, Euphoria, And Just Like That, and more. You can find your favorite HBO series on demand here too, including every episode of Game of Thrones, Veep, The Wire, and more.
HBO Max also offers theater releases faster than most other streamers. In fact, the streamer offers new movies 45 days after their theatrical release, including new blockbusters like The Batman, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Elvis, Creed III, and more.
What to Watch on HBO Max
HBO Max boasts one of the most impressive lineups of just about any streaming service. Both the ad-supported and ad-free subscriptions give you access to over 10,000 hours of iconic movies and shows, with more original content always in development. There’s so much to dive into with HBO Max that it might be difficult for you to figure out what you’ll binge first. Among your many options are shows and movies from DC, Cartoon Network, Sesame Workshop, CrunchyRoll, Studio Ghibli, Turner Classic Movies, and more.