HBO, Time Warner Media, and AT&T finally unveiled the details about their upcoming streaming platform HBO Max today during an industry presentation that revealed release plans, pricepoint and a first look at the unique functions and design that will set them apart in an increasingly competitive streaming market.
- Here are the need-to-know details:
- HBO Max will roll out in May 2020.
- The pricing is set for $14.99 a month.
- Existing HBO and HBO Now subscribers, as well as those subscribed through AT&T TV, mobile & broadband bundles will have access at no extra charge.
In addition to the key stats, HBO and Warner also laid out the first in-depth look at what to expect from the content library. That included the announcement that the latest DC hit Joker will be available on the platform at launch, along with a massive catalogue of Warner’s DC films, in addition to original films and a film library that includes Warner Bros., MGM, Criterion Collection and TCM hits from across the years. In the realm of TV, HBO Max debuted new series including a Game of Thrones prequel series based on George R.R. Martin‘s Fire & Blood, Green Arrow and Strange Adventures series from Greg Berlanti, a new sci-fi original from Ridley Scott, as well as new comedies from Elizbeth Banks, Issa Rae, and Mindy Kaling.
They also gave an introduction to the layout and user experience of their design, putting an emphasis on combining data and algorithms with human recommendations. That includes a feature that will see top HBO talent, including Zac Efron and Bill Hader, recommending their favorite movies and series for fans. During the demonstration, that entailed watching a video from Efron breaking down why The Exorcist is his go-to scary movie, which can be followed to the actor’s profile page where fans can follow their chosen talent for new and updated recommendations. They will also offer content hubs to help fans find the content they want quickly, from Studio Ghibli to DC to Cartoon Network, as well as personalized profiles and download capabilities.
The announcement comes at a particularly competitive time in streaming media, with Apple TV+ launching November 1 and Disney+ launching on November 12. Still, HBO Max presented a confident debut, announcing a strategy they hope will see them raise a subscriber base of 70-95 million subscribers worldwide by 2025, including 50 million subscribers in the US. HBO also plans to roll out an ad-based version of HBO Max in 2021, less than a year after the ad-free version lands. The streaming service will have about 10,000 hours of content at launch.
Check out more details on the newly announced content lineup from the official press release below.
HBO Max will launch with 10,000 hours of curated premium content including the entire HBO service, bundled with new HBO Max Originals that expand the breadth of the offering targeted at young adults, kids and families. HBO Max will pull from WarnerMedia’s deep library of fan favorites in its 100-year content collection, including library content from Warner Bros., New Line, DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes and more. HBO Max will also offer a robust selection of third party acquired series and movie titles that will rival any other streaming offering in the marketplace.
New Max Originals announced today include:
- The Fungies!, from Stephen Neary and Cartoon Network Studios, is a prehistoric comedy that explores Fungietown through the whimsical quests of Seth, a young student at Fungietown Elementary.
- Tig N’ Seek from Myke Chilian and Cartoon Network Studios is about 8-year-old Tiggy and his gadget-building cat, Gweeseek, as they search for the lost items of Wee Gee City. With Tiggy’s cheerful attitude and Gweeseek’s exceptional inventing capabilities, the duo humorously navigate day-to-day dilemmas at the Department of Lost and Found.
- Tooned Out, executive produced by Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump; Cast Away; Back to the Future), is a half-hour, hybrid live-action and animated comedy. Things get a little cartoony for Mac when he starts seeing iconic cartoon characters in his life, but they’re not just there for laughs, they’re helping him get through a very rough patch in his life.
- Looney Tunes Cartoons, an all-new series of 80 eleven-minute episodes and holiday-themed specials from Warner Bros. Animation starring the cherished classic Looney Tunes characters for today’s kids. Iconic characters will include Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Tweety, Sylvester, Granny, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Tasmanian Devil, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote and many more.
- Jellystone, a new animated children’s comedy series from Warner Bros. Animation that will welcome viewers to the town of Jellystone, where their favorite Hanna-Barbera characters live, work, play, and stir up trouble together.
- DC Super Hero High is a half-hour comedy series executive produced by Elizabeth Banks (Charlie’s Angels, Pitch Perfect, Shrill), which follows a group of students experiencing the fun and drama of adolescence at a boarding school for gifted kids. These teens are just trying to navigate the pressures of high school, but none of them realize that someday they will become legendary DC Super Heroes.
- Rap Sh*t (working title) from Issa Rae (Insecure; A Black Lady Sketch Show) is a half-hour comedy series that follows a female rap group from outside of Miami trying to make it in the music industry.
- College Girls (working title), the latest series from Mindy Kaling (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Late Night, The Mindy Project, The Office), is a 13-episode half-hour, single-camera comedy following three 18-year-old freshman roommates at Evermore College in Vermont who are equal parts lovable and infuriating.
- Strange Adventures, a DC Super Hero anthology series executive produced by Greg Berlanti (Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Titans, Doom Patrol), will feature characters from across the DC canon. This one-hour drama series will explore close-ended morality tales about the intersecting lives of mortals and superhumans.
- A Green Lantern inspired series from Berlanti Productions that will finally introduce characters from this iconic comic in Berlanti’s biggest series yet.
- A Series of Stand Up Specials presented by Conan O’Brien will feature five new comedy specials. O’Brien will host two specials, featuring short sets from multiple up-and-coming comics while also curating one-hour sets from three comedians. In addition HBO Max has purchased the rights to a one-hour special from comedian James Veitch.
- Raised by Wolves, an epic serialized sci-fi series executive produced and directed by Ridley Scott (The Martian, Blade Runner, Alien: Covenant) centering on two androids tasked with raising human children on a mysterious virgin planet.
- Bobbie Sue is a feature-length film starring Golden Globe® winner Gina Rodriquez (Jane the Virgin) following the story of a headstrong young lawyer who lands a career-making case with an upper crust law firm, only to realize she’s been hired for optics and not her expertise.
New HBO original announced today:
- House of the Dragon, a 10-episode, straight-to-series order “Game of Thrones” prequel. Based on George R.R. Martin’s Fire & Blood, the series, which is set 300 years before the events of “Game of Thrones,” tells the story of House Targaryen. Co-created by George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal. Emmy award winning director Miguel Sapochnik and Ryan Condal will partner as showrunners and will also serve as executive producers along with George R.R. Martin and Vince Gerardis. Sapochnik will direct the pilot and additional episodes of the series, which will be written by Condal.
Newly Acquired and Library Titles:
- In addition to the new original titles mentioned above, HBO Max also announced today a number of classic and library titles that will be coming to the streamer in its first year of launch, including: South Park, Rick & Morty, The O.C., Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Robot Chicken, Space Ghost Coast to Coast, The Bachelor, Impractical Jokers, The Closer, Rizzolli and Isles, Major Crimes, The Alienist, The West Wing, United Shades of America with Kamau Bell, This is Life with Lisa Ling, and Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.
- In addition, a collection of classics from the libraries of Looney Tunes, Merrie Melodies and Hannah Barbara will be available at launch.