Warner Bros. Discovery’s revamped subscription service is just called “Max,” and the company explained why it dropped the HBO branding at a press event on Wednesday. A key reason was to help Warner Bros. Discovery broaden the appeal of the app so that it’s not mostly targeted at content for adults.
“We want [Max] to be welcoming to all and easily recognizable, including to a key customer segment, kids and families,” JB Perrette, president and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery’s global streaming and games, said at the event. “We all love HBO. And it’s a brand that has been built over five decades to be the edgy, groundbreaking trendsetter in entertainment for adults. But it’s not exactly where parents would most eagerly drop off their kids.”
With Max, Warner Bros. Discovery sees an opportunity to better showcase its kids-focused brands like Cartoon Network, Boomerang, the Wizarding World, and Looney Tunes within the app.
But HBO isn’t going away, of course, and you’ll still see it in the app. “HBO is not TV — HBO is HBO,” Perrette said. “It needs to stay that way, which is why we will privilege it in the product experience and also not push it to the breaking point.”
We won’t have long to wait to see exactly how everything will appear in the app, as Max launches on May 23rd. Current HBO Max subscribers will pay the same price they do now when the app updates to Max, and users’ “profiles, settings, watch history, ‘Continue Watching,’ and ‘My List’ items” will transfer to the new experience, Warner Bros. Discovery said in a press release.
Update April 12th, 2:30PM ET: Added details about the transition from HBO Max to Max.