Ask Answers: Is the New HBO Max Better Than HBO Go and HBO Now?
A few weeks ago, HBO graciously made some of its top-tier content free to stream. Watching The Sopranos free-of-charge may have helped take your mind off the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but, bada bing, nothing gold can stay. Winning over homebound viewers by knocking down those paywalls was a great marketing strategy — a little good PR never hurt anyone — and it was an especially smart tactic to introduce ahead of the network’s launch of HBO Max, its newest subscription-based service.
Viewers can embark on HBO Max marathons starting May 27, which is exciting — until you factor in that many of us already have some kind of HBO access. If you’re old school, you might get HBO via your cable package or as an add-on to Amazon Prime; other users bank on a friend-of-a-friend’s HBO Go login; and others pony up the monthly fee for HBO Now. As the network’s esteemed writer Carrie Bradshaw might posit, We couldn’t help but wonder: What’s the difference between all of these HBO iterations? And, in a world overflowing with viable streaming platforms and subscription services, is HBO Max even worth a girl’s time?
What Are the Key Differences Between HBO Max, HBO Go and HBO Now?
Like Disney+, NBC’s Peacock and Apple TV+, HBO Max is bolstered by a sprawling catalogue of beloved shows and movies as well as star-studded original series. But the service, which has AT&T’s WarnerMedia behind it, is also investing billions of dollars into some of the most expensive TV rights in history — namely, HBO Max will be the exclusive home for streaming hits like Friends and The Big Bang Theory. In terms of movies, it will boast all those much-loved DC Comics-based films, like Wonder Woman (2017) and Joker (2019), along with time-honored classics like The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003) and The Wizard of Oz (1939).
From the Golden Age of (Cable) TV to the Golden Age of Streaming
Thanks to hits like The Sopranos, The Wire and Sex and the City, HBO is known for ushering in the golden age of television — in fact, the network is synonymous with peak TV. Even HBO’s more recent original offerings continue to reel in accolades and set the bar incredibly high.
All the Original Shows and Movies You Can Expect on HBO Max
While HBO Max certainly follows Netflix’s model to a degree, it’s definitely taking Disney+’s mindset into account too. Here’s a taste of all the original content you can expect from the platform:
All the Original Shows and Movies You Can Expect on HBO Max, Continued
But that's not all. Unlike competitors Disney+ and Apple TV+, HBO Max isn't just tossing out a handful of star-studded originals. Here are a few more soon-to-be hits:
All of the Big-Name Properties Available on HBO Max
If all of that new, original content isn't enough, WarnerMedia has also made sure to snag a bunch of great streaming deals. Big-name properties that'll be on HBO Max include: Friends (plus a potential reunion special, details TBA), The OC, The Big Bang Theory, Adventure Time (and a whole lot of Cartoon Network and Adult Swim content), Rick and Morty, South Park, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, The Office, Luther and Doctor Who (series 1-11).
Other Need-to-Know Basics About HBO Max
If that’s not enough information to satisfy your HBO Max curiosity, we do have a few more nuggets to share. First of all, you can download HBO Max content for offline viewing, a la Amazon Prime’s video service. Second, the platform will allow for parental controls and customizable (and shareable, to some extent) profiles, and it will present content in brand-based "hubs," like Disney+ does. Third, the landing page will feature picks from notable HBO-aligned stars. Ever wonder what Barry star Bill Hader’s vibing with on HBO? Wonder no longer.