HBO Max, is an American subscription video on demand streaming service from WarnerMedia Entertainment, a division of AT&T's WarnerMedia. The service launched on May 27, 2020.
HBO Max is based on WarnerMedia's HBO premium TV service and includes all of its programming, plus a range of additional original programming and library content from all parts of WarnerMedia, as well as third-party content providers from which WarnerMedia bought streaming rights.
According to AT&T, HBO Max had garnered 4.1 million activated subscribers by the end of June 2020; there are at least 21 million additional HBO pay TV customers whose subscriptions now include access to HBO Max but have not yet used the service.


On October 10, 2018, WarnerMedia announced that it would launch an over-the-top streaming service in late 2019, featuring content from its entertainment brands. The original plan for the service called for three tiers with a late 2019 launch. Randall L. Stephenson, chairman and CEO of WarnerMedia's parent, AT&T indicated in mid-May 2019 that it would use the HBO brand and would tie into cable operators as HBO cable subscribers would have access to the streaming service. A beta was expected in the fourth quarter of 2019 and full launch in first quarter 2020 at the time.
Otter Media was transferred in May 2019 to WarnerMedia Entertainment from Warner Bros. to take over the streaming service as Brad Bentley, executive vice president and general manager of the direct-to-consumer development exited the post after six months. Andy Forssell transferred from being chief operating officer of Otter to replace Bentley as executive vice president and general manager while still reporting to Otter CEO Tony Goncalves, who would lead development.
On July 9, 2019, WarnerMedia announced that the service would be known as HBO Max, and would launch in spring 2020, while Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine and Greg Berlanti were signed to production deals for the service. On October 29, 2019, it was announced that HBO Max would officially launch in May 2020.
On January 8, 2020, AT&T announced that Audience, a channel exclusive to subscribers of AT&T-owned TV providers such as DirecTV with some original programming, would be sunset on May 22, eventually transitioning to a barker channel for HBO Max. Warner Bros. and HBO Max announced the Warner Max film label on February 5, 2020, which would produce eight to ten mid-budget movies per year for the streaming service starting in 2020. On April 20, 2020, WarnerMedia announced HBO Max's launch date as May 27.


, president of WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks which includes most of the company's ad-supported entertainment channels such as TBS, TNT, and TruTV, also serves as chief content officer of HBO Max with responsibility for HBO Max-exclusive original programming and library content. Andy Forssell is the service's executive vice president and general manager while still reporting to Otter Media CEO Tony Goncalves, who leads development.
Casey Bloys, programming president of HBO, continues oversight of the core HBO service, including newly commissioned programming which is available on both the HBO linear channels and HBO Max, but is not involved with Max-exclusive programming.


WarnerMedia indicated that the service would have 10,000 hours of content at-launch, including first-run and library content from the namesake HBO, and content from the company's other brands and networks. WarnerMedia stated that the service would have over 2,000 films available at-launch, including HBO's existing pay television rights that are sourced from studios including sister company Warner Bros. Pictures, Universal Pictures, and 20th Century Studios.
As with HBO's existing streaming platforms, HBO Go and HBO Now, HBO Max is not expected to include feeds of HBO's linear cable channels, nor is it expected to include any content from Cinemax, which will concurrently wind down its original programming efforts as WarnerMedia reallocates its programming investments towards HBO Max. AT&T chairman and CEO Randall L. Stephenson has not ruled out adding live content from Turner Sports in the future.

Content providers

First and third party content providers for HBO Max. Asterisk denotes third parties.
Original content produced will be under the banner Max Originals, including series, films, and specials. Original episodic content is released weekly, eschewing the "binge" format made popular by Netflix. Kevin Reilly stated this was to ensure that originals would remain in the spotlight for extended periods, by letting said shows "breathe" as opposed to "fading quickly after a binge and burn". He also noted that the weekly schedule helped to drive the success of past HBO shows like Succession and Chernobyl, and became hits precisely due to their staying power. On February 5, 2020, Warner Bros. announced that it would form a new label known as Warner Max to produce 8 to 10 mid-budget films for the service annually. A slate of 31 original series were planned for its first year, with plans to expand to 50 for its next year, but production timelines may have been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. HBO Max also has podcasts about the films and TV series on the service.


New Warner Bros. Television-produced series that have premiered on The CW since the 2019–20 season will have their past seasons placed on HBO Max a month before the newest season premieres on TV. On July 9, 2019, HBO Max acquired the U.S. streaming rights to Friends in a $425 million deal, and on September 17, 2019, acquired the U.S. streaming rights to The Big Bang Theory, as part of a deal that also extends TBS's off-network rights to the series through 2028.

Acquired rights

Outside of WarnerMedia, the service also offers titles from The Criterion Collection, and has a long-term partnership with BBC Studios. Over 700 episodes of BBC content are slated to be available on the service at launch, including the first 11 seasons of the 2005 Doctor Who revival, as well as future seasons twelve through fourteen, and a variety of other shows including The Honourable Woman, Luther, Top Gear, and the original British version of The Office. Additionally, future shows by BBC Studios will be co-produced with HBO Max. HBO also extended their existing partnership with Sesame Workshop, while moving said content to the front of the HBO Max brand. Select episodes from all fifty seasons of Sesame Street are available to stream on the service for the first time ever. Additionally, future seasons of Sesame Street will stream exclusively on HBO Max, alongside Esme & Roy, and several new spin-offs starting with The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo, Mecha Builders, and The Monster at the End of This Story.



The service also features many hubs for animated programming, drawing largely from the libraries of Warner Bros. Animation and Cartoon Network, along with Adult Swim. Original animated series for both network sections were also announced for HBO Max, and the service beat out competitors to acquire exclusive domestic streaming rights to Trey Parker and Matt Stone's South Park and its next three seasons, in a shared deal with ViacomCBS's Comedy Central for $500 million


provides a growing selection of anime content for the service, curated every quarter, starting with seventeen anime. This includes ', Kill la Kill, Berserk, Your Lie in April, ', Rurouni Kenshin, and the internally produced In/Spectre. In addition, Death Note and Hunter × Hunter are on the platform within the first year of the service. Death Note, as well as the first five episodes of Tower of God, were added on June 19, 2020 while Hunter X Hunter was added on June 23, 2020. The service is also the first U.S. service to hold streaming rights to the films of Japanese animation studio Studio Ghibli, via its North American distributor GKIDS. Studio Ghibli films such as Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle, Ponyo, Kiki's Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro and more became available on the service at launch. Fellow Otter Media company Rooster Teeth also contributes content, with season two of to be a timed exclusive for HBO Max.


All eight films in the Harry Potter series were available to stream on the service on launch day, despite earlier reports indicating that the films, although produced by Warner Bros., would not be available due to a prior broadcast rights agreement with NBCUniversal. It was later announced that the films would be removed on August 25. On May 29, 2020, HBO Max acquired the exclusive streaming rights to The Big Bang Theory spin-off Young Sheldon.
On June 9, 2020, Gone with the Wind was temporarily removed from HBO Max's library amid the George Floyd protests, following an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times by 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley. On June 25, 2020, the film returned in its original form with, as suggested by Ridley, a new introduction by Turner Classic Movies host Jacqueline Stewart discussing the film's treatments of the American Civil War, the Reconstruction era, and American slavery of African people.
On June 27, 2020, it was revealed that DC Universe original Harley Quinn will stream its first two seasons on HBO Max. On June 29, 2020, HBO Max secured the exclusive streaming rights of the Oprah Winfrey Network series David Makes Man.


United States

The majority of active subscribers to either HBO Now or the HBO pay TV service at time of launch can access HBO Max for no extra charge, with all three services generally sharing the same price point of $14.99 per month. However, this transition is contingent on the customer's current provider or biller having signed a new distribution agreement for HBO Max with WarnerMedia. For certain distributors that are members of the National Cable Television Cooperative, access to HBO Max will be rolled out later in 2020.
In announcing HBO Max, WarnerMedia immediately confirmed that HBO subscribers on AT&T-owned platforms will receive HBO Max on-launch at no additional charge. AT&T customers who are subscribed to their highest-tiered internet, TV and wireless plans will also receive HBO Max for free, while those on lower-tiered plans will get a free trial ranging from one month to one year. Existing HBO Now subscribers billed directly by HBO were also migrated to HBO Max on-launch at no additional charge. On April 27, 2020, an agreement was announced for HBO Now subscribers via Apple to be migrated to HBO Max. Content from HBO Max will be listed in the Apple TV app along with there being a dedicated HBO Max hub in the app.
WarnerMedia subsequently negotiated with other pay TV providers for similar arrangements. On February 20, 2020, WarnerMedia announced a distribution deal with YouTube TV that would allow members to add HBO and Cinemax, while also being able to include HBO Max as an add-on. On April 15, 2020, WarnerMedia announced a similar deal with Charter Spectrum to give access to HBO Max for HBO subscribers via their TV Everywhere credentials. A similar agreement was announced with Hulu on May 1 for most existing subscribers via Hulu + Live TV, as well as being available as an add-on to all other plans on the service. On May 20, 2020, it was announced that WarnerMedia had made distribution deals with Altice USA, Cox Communications, Xbox, Samsung, PlayStation, Verizon Communications and the NCTC. An agreement with Comcast was announced a few hours after the platform's launch.
The two most prominent platforms without agreements to carry HBO Max are Amazon and Roku, which together are estimated to control 70% of the U.S. streaming player market. On May 13, 2020, John Stankey, CEO of AT&T, revealed to Variety that Amazon was very unlikely to become a launch partner for HBO Max; the parties have remained at an impasse following the launch, reportedly due to a disagreement about whether Amazon can host the additional Max programming directly on its Prime Video Channels platform as it does for HBO currently. The dispute with Roku is reported to hinge on carriage commissions and advertising sales on the future ad-supported tier. With both of these companies' devices, non-Max HBO content remains available as usual through the companies' respective channels platforms and/or through HBO Now. Dish Network was also erroneously mentioned as a holdout in some media reports; HBO has not been available at all from Dish since late 2018 due to a separate dispute.
HBO Max does not support 4K, HDR, or Dolby Atmos, but are planned as "part of the HBO Max product roadmap". There is also no support for audio description for those with visual impairments.
There are plans for HBO Max to introduce an ad-supported tier by 2021.


Localized versions of HBO Max are scheduled to launch in 2021 in Latin America and the parts of Europe where HBO already directly operates premium TV or streaming services. In the interim, some HBO Max original programs will be available on WarnerMedia's existing international platforms, also including HBO Asia.
In other countries, WarnerMedia says it plans to continue working with HBO's existing licensing partners for the time being. Shortly after announcing HBO Max, WarnerMedia renewed its agreements with several existing international partners for HBO main-channel programming, including European satellite TV provider Sky in the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, the Republic of Ireland and Italy ; pay TV providers Bell Media in Canada. These renewals mean that HBO Max will not launch as a separate service in these countries for the foreseeable future. Some of these extensions added rights to HBO Max original programs produced by sister company Warner Bros. or provisions for future HBO Max co-productions, but they do not automatically include rights to HBO Max series produced by third-party studios, or streaming rights for other WarnerMedia library programming carried by HBO Max such as Friends.
In France, where HBO original programming is available on OCS, Stéphane Richard, CEO of Orange, revealed in February 2020 that there will be discussions with WarnerMedia regarding HBO Max contents following the end of the agreements with HBO in 2022. But in June 2020, OCS announced the acquisition of some HBO Max original programs like Search Party and Love Life, without specifying if other programs will be broadcast.