'What is HBO Max?': Here's what you need to know about HBO's streaming service answer to Netflix and Hulu, Business Insider - Business Insider Singaporeby Steven John, Business Insider US
- HBO Max is a new on-demand video subscription service and HBO’s answer to competitors like Netflix or Hulu.
- HBO Max is now available, and it features more than 10,000 hours of original content and licensed shows and movies from a variety of networks and studios outside of HBO.
- The cost of HBO Max is the same as HBO’s other cable-less subscription service HBO Now, priced at $14.99 a month.
- The HBO streaming service does not require a cable subscription with a TV provider.
- Certain HBO Now subscribers will get HBO Max automatically, depending on the billing provider you used to sign up for HBO Now.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Do you have $14.99 per month that you can afford to spare?
Then you have access to every episode ever of “Game of Thrones,” “Friends,” “The Big Bang Theory,” “The West Wing,” and so much more. HBO Max, Warner Media’s answer to Netflix and Hulu, offers subscribers access to one of the richest media libraries for the same price as its more limited HBO Now service.
Here’s what you’ll get from HBO Max.
Everything you need to know about HBO Max
Up until now, HBO programming was available via various third-party platforms, such as Amazon Prime, and through its own HBO Go and HBO Now apps. HBO Max is the latest way you can get HBO content, but with a noticeable upgrade.
The streamer is an “over-the-top” media service, meaning it circumvents the cable, broadcast, and satellite television gatekeepers and delivers content directly to the consumer through their computer, phone, and TV streaming devices. This is the model Netflix perfected with its computer, tablet, and phone-based streaming arm, and which platforms like Disney+ and NBCUniversal’s Peacock have since attempted to recreate.
Similar to these platforms, HBO Max hosts billions of dollars worth of in-house content, new and old. Subscribers, of course, have access to HBO exclusive content like “Westworld,” “Entourage,” “The Sopranos,” and “Big Little Lies.”
But HBO Max’s sprawling catalog also features a slate of HBO Max originals, some of which are available now at its launch, while others will drop in the coming months. These originals will include an unscripted “Friends” reunion, a J.J. Abrams “Shining”-inspired series “Overlook,” as well as sexual harassment documentary “On the Record” about abuse in the music industry.
Among the thousands of non-HBO licensed shows and movies subscribers will have access to are popular series like “Friends,” “The Big Bang Theory,” and “Rick and Morty.”
How to get HBO Max
The most significant difference between HBO Max and similar services is its price tag. While HBO Now subscribers probably won’t be phased by its $14.99 a month cost (and many will get the service automatically), that’s somewhat higher than the price of other services like Hulu, which can come with a Disney+ and ESPN bundle for $12.99 a month.
Many HBO Now subscribers now have access to HBO Max automatically, though only if you’ve purchased your HBO Now subscription through HBONow.com, or through Apple, Google Play, Samsung, Optimum, or Verizon Fios Internet as third-party providers.
To check your billing provider for HBO Now (to see if you used one of the above qualifying providers):
1. Sign into your HBO Now account on a computer or mobile device.
2. Click or tap your profile icon (and then tap the Settings icon in the upper-right corner on a mobile device).
3. Click or tap “Billing Information” and locate your provider in the sentence “Your subscription is billed through [provider name].”
New subscribers can get HBO Max through the HBO Max website or their cable or telco provider. For more information on how to get HBO Max and where it’s available, visit HBO’s website.