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Jonathan Olley/DC Comics
HBO Max costs $15/month without ads or $10/month with ads.
The service offers everything on HBO’s cable channel, plus exclusive shows and additional films.
HBO Max will be combined with Discovery Plus in summer 2023, but it’s not clear if pricing will change.
HBO Max is a streaming service that combines 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. Most people who already have HBO through cable automatically get access to HBO Max without having to pay extra.
In summer 2023, HBO Max will merge with Discovery Plus to form a new streaming service designed to offer the best of both platforms. It’s not yet clear how much the new service will cost or how current subscribers will be transitioned to the combined app.
In its current form, HBO Max remains one of our favorite streaming services. Its large selection of hit movies and prestige series makes it a strong competitor in the increasingly crowded streaming 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?
Zendaya as Chani in “Dune.”
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures
If you pay for HBO with your cable package, you likely already have access to HBO Max as part of your subscription. You can view a full list of qualifying HBO Max providers here.
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 can watch 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.
As mentioned above, most people who already subscribe to HBO are eligible to receive ad-free HBO Max at no extra cost.
Does HBO Max offer a free trial?
Though HBO Max initially offered a free trial through its site, that promotion is no longer available. HBO Max also used to offer a trial if you signed up as an add-on to Hulu, but this option is no longer provided.
Where can I watch HBO Max?
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, Chromecast, and LG and Samsung smart TVs.
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 need to use 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 company confirmed the news during its Q2 earnings call on August 4. The new platform doesn’t have a name yet, but it’s set to launch in summer 2023.
The combined HBO Max and Discovery Plus service is expected to offer ad-supported and ad-free plans, 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.
During its Q2 earnings call, Warner Bros. Discovery also outlined how HBO Max and Discovery Plus complement each other by appealing to different demographics. One 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?
“Our Flag Means Death.”
HBO Max features all of HBO’s original shows, from “Game of Thrones” 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 Warner Bros. Discovery’s catalog, as well as brand-new originals.
Throughout 2022, Warner Bros. is bringing all of its new theatrical releases to HBO Max after they play on the big screen. New films like “Elvis” are expected to appear on HBO Max after 45 days in theaters.
HBO Max also features new original series, including popular shows like “The Flight Attendant,” “Peacemaker,” and “Our Flag Means Death.” Check out our full roundup of the best shows on HBO Max for more recommendations.
Beyond original programs, the catalog offers a wide range of TV series from DC, TNT, TBS, truTV, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Rooster Teeth, and Looney Tunes. The HBO Max movie catalog also incorporates critically acclaimed films from the Criterion Collection and Studio Ghibli, alongside hundreds of blockbuster Warner Bros. movies.