- HBO has a new streaming service coming in 2020: HBO Max.
- HBO already operates two major streaming services, HBO Go and HBO Now.
- So, what’s the difference between the three different streaming services? A surprising amount of stuff — let’s dig in!
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
First, the bad news: “Friends” is leaving Netflix, and it’s not coming back any time soon.
Turns out there’s a good reason for that, as it’s headed to HBO’s new streaming service in 2020 alongside “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” and a mess of other stuff. That new service is named “HBO Max,” and it’s intended as the most deluxe form of HBO’s already existing streaming services.
But what’s so different about HBO Max from HBO’s current streaming options? Let’s dig in.
SEE ALSO: HBO Max will be WarnerMedia’s answer to Netflix, coming in the spring of 2020
What is HBO Max?
HBO Max is more similar to HBO Now than HBO Go, in that it’s a standalone streaming service you don’t need a cable subscription to use.
For a monthly subscription fee that HBO has yet to disclose, you’ll get access to a wide variety of programming that includes all of HBO’s current digital lineup, plus a ton of new stuff from various WarnerMedia properties like CNN, TNT, TBS, and Cartoon Network.
Like Netflix, HBO Max will also produce new TV shows and movies.
“The new service will be ‘Maximized’ with an extensive collection of exclusive original programming (Max Originals) as well as WarnerMedia’s portfolio of beloved brands and libraries,” HBO’s announcement says.
Though the price is unannounced, a Wall Street Journal report from June priced HBO Max in the $16 – $17/month range — a slight increase over the $15/month that HBO Now costs.
What makes it different from HBO Now and HBO Go? Additional content.
With HBO Go and HBO Now, the library of content is largely focused on HBO’s originally produced TV shows and movies. But with HBO Max, you’ll get all that content plus a ton of new stuff from a variety of WarnerMedia brands.
In case you’re unfamiliar, WarnerMedia is just the new name for “Time Warner” — which is to say that a ton of good stuff is coming to HBO Max.
“10,000 hours of premium content from HBO, 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,” is promised as coming to HBO Max.
Notably, this isn’t a live TV service — you’ll get streaming access to a library of content from those places, but won’t be able to, say, watch CNN live on HBO Max.
And yes, you’ll get all the content that’s already available on HBO Go and HBO Now too.
The addition of other WarnerMedia networks’ content to HBO’s existing library is an enticing proposition.
Adding Adult Swim’s content to HBO Max means adding “Rick & Morty.” Adding CNN’s content to HBO Max means adding “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.” Adding TBS’ content to HBO Max means adding “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” and “Conan.”
All of which is to say that adding content from all these places adds up to a ton of really good stuff.
Looney Tunes cartoons! All the “Lord of the Rings” movies! There’s a surprising amount of additional content in the HBO Max package.
What is HBO Go? And how is it different from HBO Now?
If you have a cable TV subscription that includes HBO, you can also use HBO Go — it’s a freebie bonus for paying for an HBO cable subscription. Plug in your cable TV login details, and you’ve got access to a vast library of HBO content on demand. It costs nothing extra, and works on everything from your smartphone to your Apple TV/Roku/etc. to your computer.
HBO Now and HBO Go have the same content library: All of HBO’s original programming, plus a rotating library of movies.
But HBO Now doesn’t require a cable TV subscription — it’s a standalone streaming service that costs $15/month. It functions nearly identically to HBO Go, and it’s technically newer.
The major difference between the two services is how you pay for access. With HBO Go, you have to pay for cable TV. With HBO Now you just pay HBO directly, like Netflix or Hulu.
HBO Max is essentially the “big sister” of the three services. It offers the most content — and also will reportedly cost the most.
What else is coming to HBO Max? A bunch of new original content, including a show based on “Dune” and a new movie from the director of “Bird Box.”
Here’s everything that’s announced for HBO Max thus far:
-“10,000 hours of premium content from HBO, 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.
-The exclusive streaming rights at launch to all 236 episodes of ‘Friends.’
-The exclusive streaming rights at launch to all episodes ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars.’
-The exclusive streaming home to a string of new Warner Bros.’ produced dramas for The CW beginning with the fall 2019 season, including new DC Entertainment series ‘Batwoman,’ and ‘Katy Keene’ (spinoff of ‘Riverdale’).
-New exclusive movie production deals with Greg Berlanti and Reese Witherspoon (‘Big Little Lies’). Berlanti will produce an initial four movies focused in the young adult space, while Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine will produce at least two films.
-‘Dune: The Sisterhood,’ an adaptation of Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson’s book based in the world created by Frank Herbert’s book ‘Dune,’ from director Denis Villeneuve.
-‘Tokyo Vice,’ based on Jake Adelstein’s non-fiction first-hand account of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police beat, starring Ansel Elgort.
-‘The Flight Attendant,’ a one-hour thriller series based on the novel by Chris Bohjalian. Kaley Cuoco, executive producing alongside Greg Berlanti, will star.
-‘Love Life,’ a 10-episode half-hour romantic comedy anthology series starring Anna Kendrick, who will also executive produce alongside Paul Feig.
-‘Station Eleven,’ a postapocalyptic limited series based on Emily St. John Mandel’s international bestseller, adapted by Patrick Somerville (‘The Leftovers’) and directed by Hiro Murai (‘Barry’).
-‘Made for Love,’ a 10-episode, half-hour, straight-to-series adaptation based on the tragicomic novel of the same name by Alissa Nutting, also from Patrick Somerville and directed by S.J. Clarkson.
-‘Gremlins,’ an animated series from Warner Bros. Animation and Amblin Entertainment based on the original movie.
-Stephen King’s ‘The Outsider,’ a dark mystery starring Ben Mendelsohn, produced and directed by Jason Bateman.
-‘Lovecraft Country,’ a unique horror series based on a novel by Matt Ruff, written and executive produced by Misha Green, and executive produced by Jordan Peele (‘Us’) and J.J. Abrams (‘Westworld’).
-‘The Nevers,’ Joss Whedon’s new science fiction series starring Laura Donnelly.
-‘The Gilded Age,’ set the opulent world of 1885 New York from ‘Downton Abbey’s’ Julian Fellowes.
-‘Avenue 5,’ a high satire aboard a space-bound cruise ship from Armando Iannucci (‘Veep’) starring Hugh Laurie and Josh Gad.
-‘The Undoing,’ a psychological thriller from David E. Kelley (‘Big Little Lies’), directed by Susanne Bier (‘Bird Box’) starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant.
-‘The Plot Against America,’ reimagined history based on Phillip Roth’s novel written and executive produced by David Simon and Ed Burns, starring Winona Ryder and John Turturro.
-‘Perry Mason’, the classic legal drama for a new generation, executive produced by Robert Downey, Jr. and Susan Downey, with Matthew Rhys in the title role.
-‘I Know This Much Is True,’ a complex family drama starring Mark Ruffalo playing twin brothers, one of whom has schizophrenia. Based on the best-selling novel by Wally Lamb, written and directed by Derek Cianfrance.”
HBO Max is scheduled to launch at some point in 2020. Check out an intro teaser for the new service right here: