Plenty of information was revealed with the unveiling of WarnerMedia's streaming service, HBO Max - but how much will it cost to subscribe to the service? Through the power of all the networks and cable channels under the WarnerMedia umbrella, HBO Max will be one of the more competitive streaming services set to launch over the coming year. But with HBO Max pulling from channels like HBO, The CW, NBC, TNT, CNN, TBS, and more, will prospective subscribers want to shell out around more than what a Netflix or Hulu subscription costs?
WarnerMedia officially announced the name of their streaming service will be HBO Max and it is set to launch sometime in 2020. In this same announcement, WarnerMedia confirmed that the NBC series Friends would leave Netflix for HBO Max, making it one of the many, many shows that will be available to stream. Other notable offerings include The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, The CW's Batwoman, Pretty Little Liars as well as tons of other shows and movies from WarnerMedia networks. Not to mention the seven original shows HBO Max will be premiering on its service in 2020 and all of the films, including Justice League, which will be available to stream. Sounds like a subscriber gets a whole lot of bang for their buck, so how much will it cost to enjoy all of these big titles from the comfort of one's own couch?
WarnerMedia hasn't released any specifics about how much an HBO Max subscription will cost. However, they have said it will cost "slightly more" than HBO Now, which currently runs at $14.99 a month. It feels like the safe guess would be that HBO Max will cost subscribers between $16 and $20 a month. This will make HBO Max a mid-range option amidst all of the streaming services available to prospective customers. It will be more expensive than Netflix, Hulu, or Prime Video. But it won't be quite the drain on one's wallet like higher-end services Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, or YouTube TV, all of which all have subscription fees in the $25-$45 range.
It's also unclear if HBO Max will have a multi-level subscription scheme where users can choose what kind of plan works best with each plan hitting a different price point. Netflix has three plans for customers to choose from: the basic plan costs $8.99/month for a basic plan; the standard plan costs $12.99/month, and the premium plan costs $15.99/month. Other popular competitors like Hulu and Prime Video offer this kind of multi-level subscription scheme with price points falling within $1-$4 of Netflix's offerings. Meanwhile, new kid on the block Disney+, which will include original programming and previously released movies and TV shows from Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel Studios, will charge $6.99/month for a subscription or $69.99 for the year. With a launch date set for November 2019, Disney+ poses a big threat to HBO Max if only because it can start bringing in subscribers months before the WarnerMedia streamer launches.
HBO Max certainly brings a lot to the table as a forthcoming streaming service. The almost overwhelming amount of movies and TV, old and new, arguably make the possible price tag of $16-$20 per month a worthy investment. But the price point will be one of many factors HBO Max will have to consider when it comes to getting folks to subscribe, making the ongoing streaming competition among major media corporations all the more curious to watch unfold.