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HBO Max is merging with Discovery Plus this spring — here’s a breakdown of what the service offers now and what you can expect

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HBO Max streaming serviceHBO Max starts at $10 a month.

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  • HBO Max costs $15/month without ads or $10/month with ads.
  • The service combines content from HBO’s cable channel with exclusive shows and films.
  • HBO Max will merge with Discovery Plus in spring 2023, but it’s not clear if pricing will change.

HBO Max is a streaming service that mixes HBO’s library of original series with a huge catalog of blockbuster movies and TV shows provided by Warner Bros. Discovery. 

The service costs $15 a month for ad-free streaming, or $10 a month for ad-supported streaming. And most people who already have HBO through cable automatically get HBO Max without having to pay extra.

In spring 2023, HBO Max is set to merge with Discovery Plus to form a new streaming service designed to offer the best of both platforms. That said, it’s not yet clear how much the new service will cost or how current subscribers will be affected. 

In its current form, however, HBO Max remains a solid streaming service on its own. Its large selection of hit movies and prestige series makes it a strong competitor in the increasingly crowded digital entertainment market. 

Below, we’ve detailed all the basics to help you decide if HBO Max is right for your needs, including pricing, content selection, and what the Discovery Plus merger could mean for members.

How can I sign up for HBO Max?

You can sign up for HBO Max through HBOMax.com. You can also subscribe directly through select partner services, including Amazon Prime Video, AT&T, DirecTV, Spectrum, Hulu, and YouTube TV.

Quick tip: If you pay for HBO with your cable package, you likely already have HBO Max as part of your subscription. Members with supported providers can simply use their account to sign in at play.hbomax.com/signIn.

How much is HBO Max?

HBO Max costs $15 a month for ad-free streaming or $10 a month for ad-supported streaming. Subscribers can save 16% by signing up for an annual subscription to either plan. An annual ad-free plan is $150 a year, and an annual ad-supported plan is $100 a year.

HBO Max’s ad-supported plan includes nearly everything you get with the more expensive ad-free plan. That said, the cheaper plan lacks the option to download content to view offline, and streaming is limited to HD quality rather than 4K. 

Is HBO Max available through Amazon Prime Video?

Amazon Prime Video now offers HBO Max as an add-on channel. Prime subscribers can add HBO Max to their membership for an extra $15 a month. Amazon had previously removed HBO Max as channel, but brought the service back in December 2022.

Does HBO Max offer a free trial?

Though HBO Max initially offered a free trial through its site, that promotion is no longer available. However, there is one workaround. Amazon Prime Video members can get a one-week free trial of HBO Max if they sign up for the service as a Prime Video channel. The trial is only available to new HBO members.

Where can I watch HBO Max?

house of the dragon hbo maxYou can stream HBO Max on laptops, phones, smart TVs, and media players.

Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

HBO Max can be streamed via its official website and the HBO Max app. You can find the app on Apple, Android, Roku, PlayStation, Xbox, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast devices, as well as smart TVs from LG and Samsung.

Those who sign up for HBO Max directly though a partnered service, like Hulu, will be able to access regular HBO content through the partner service’s app. To watch HBO Max exclusives, however, you still need the separate HBO Max app.

Is HBO Max merging with Discovery Plus?

Warner Bros. Discovery has announced plans to merge HBO Max and Discovery Plus into one streaming service. The new platform doesn’t have an official name yet, but reports indicate it could be called Max.The merged service is set to launch in spring 2023.

Ad-supported and ad-free plans are expected, but pricing has not been announced. It’s also not clear how existing HBO Max or Discovery Plus subscribers will be transitioned to the new platform.

Discovery Plus currently costs $5/month with ads or $7/month without ads. The service offers shows from Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Food Network, and HGTV, along with several original series.

During its Q2 2022 earnings call, Warner Bros. Discovery outlined how HBO Max and Discovery Plus complement each other by appealing to different demographics. Once combined, the new service has the potential to attract a wider range of subscribers by offering all of HBO Max’s scripted content and all of Discovery Plus’ unscripted titles

What movies and shows are on HBO Max?

Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam.Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam.

Warner Bros. Pictures

HBO Max includes access to new and classic HBO shows, from “House of the Dragon” and “The Sopranos” to “Succession” and “Euphoria.” The library also includes the cable channel’s rotating lineup of movies. On top of all that, HBO Max offers additional titles from the Warner Bros. Discovery catalog, as well as brand-new originals.

Warner Bros. also has the option to bring all of its new theatrical releases to HBO Max as soon as 45 days after they play on the big screen. Some notable releases that hit HBO Max in 2022 include “The Batman,” “Black Adam,” “Don’t Worry Darling,” and “Elvis.”

Meanwhile, some popular HBO Max original series you can stream right now include hit shows like:

Beyond original programs, the catalog offers a wide range of TV series from DC, Cartoon Network, and Adult Swim. The HBO Max movie catalog also incorporates critically acclaimed films from TCM, Criterion Collection, and Studio Ghibli, alongside hundreds of blockbuster Warner Bros. movies. 

With that said, the HBO Max catalog is not permanent, and the service is known for removing content with little warning. For example, recent cost-cutting measures have led to the removal of shows like “Westworld” and shorts from the “Looney Tunes” franchise.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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