We’ve known that WarnerMedia has had its own streaming service brewing for a while now, and today they’ve announced that the service will be dubbed “HBO Max”. Warner has already had success with the HBO brand and spinning it out into streaming services HBO Go and HBO Now, so calling the new service “HBO Max” makes sense since it will include HBO as well as “Programming from Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes and More,” plus original movies and series. The streaming service is set to launch in spring 2020.
WarnerMedia knows they have some serious content in their back pocket including all 236 episodes of Friends (that’s right—if you want to stream Friends and The Office in the future, you’ll need to subscribe to two different streaming services), upcoming series like Lovecraft Country and Batwoman, originals such as Station Eleven, an animated Gremlins series, Tokyo Vice, Dune: The Sisterhood, and much more.
What the press release doesn’t note is how much it will cost. It was rumored earlier this year that the service might only cost around $17-18 per month, which isn’t a bad deal if you’re already an HBO Now subscriber, which costs $15 per month. But that rumor also said Cinemax would be included, and that premium channel isn’t mentioned anywhere in this press release. Furthermore, with this ridiculous amount of content, $17-18 seems a little on the low side. I’d be willing to bet that it’s closer to $25, $15 for the base HBO package plus $10 for everything else. Of course, that’s the “low” price that WarnerMedia will use to lure new subscribers and then they’ll continue to raise subscription fees once you’re hooked.
As others have pointed out, you’re not really cutting the cord anymore; you’re just moving your cable package to a streaming package, and that’s clearly true here when you’ve got so many Warner-based media channels. For some, that’s a deal worth making, especially if you’ve got staples like Friends and HBO’s entire catalogue. But others may decide they’re fine with just an HBO Now subscription and it’s better to hold off.