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HBO Max Launching in May With 10K Hours and a $14.99 Price Tag

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Households already feeling the burden of too many streaming subscriptions aren't going to like this: Executives from AT&T's WarnerMedia announced yesterday that HBO's upcoming streaming service, HBO Max, will debut in May 2020 with a 10,000 hour content library and a hefty $14.99 price tag. That's the same price HBO already charges for streaming service HBO Now, although HBO Max will offer significantly more content. HBO Now isn't going away, at least, not yet, but many subscribers will be transitioned to HBO Max automatically.

News 1As for that content library, it includes HBO's existing originals; much from WarnerMedia's collection; new shows from George R. R. Martin, Ridley Scott, Ellen DeGeneres; all of South Park; all of Friends; all of modern era Doctor Who (including the next three seasons); DC Comics' live action movies from the last 10 years; and the Studio Ghibli library. Classic movie lovers will enjoy the monthly curated list of titles from Turner Classic Movies. HBO is creating 31 original series just for HBO Max. Binging new titles won't be an option for HBO Max viewers, as the company prefers to release shows weekly, the better to build buzz.

AT&T plans to invest $4 billion in HBO Max over the next three years, and believes it will be profitable by 2025. By that time it hopes to have 80 million subscribers with 50 million of those in the U.S. HBO Now currently has 9 million subscribers.

For its upcoming Disney+ launch, Disney has chosen to battle category leader Netflix on price. HBO is making a different bet, that households will find its vast something-for-everyone library worth the extra money. By the end of 2020 it will be clear if consumers are willing to spend more than they're comfortable with for multiple subscriptions or if many of these services will have trouble attracting an audience.  

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