Spirited away movie still
Studio Ghibli

HBO has joined the ranks of premium streaming services with its new platform HBO Max, which launched yesterday. With an impressive roster of original content, HBO Max looks to be the next titan in the ever-growing streaming industry.

HBO Max’s launch is the last of five major streaming debuts — including Quibi, Disney+, and Apple TV+ — in the space of one year. As the latest big league streaming service, it sets itself apart thanks to a sprawling catalog of HBO’s biggest shows, in addition to several upcoming projects that have already generated buzz.

With so much to offer, HBO Max is definitely a tempting addition to your quarantine streaming. Whether you’re shopping for a new streamer, or paying for HBO in some form already, we’ve gathered all the essential information you need to know about HBO Max.

HBO Max launch date

HBO Max launched on Wednesday, May 27 in the US. After that the service’s first international expansions, it will prioritize Latin America and Europe in 2021.

HBO Max cost

HBO Max is launching with a $14.99 per month price tag. That’s the same price as HBO Now. If you’re already subscribed to the latter, or to HBO through AT&T, HBO Max will be free.

HBO Max vs HBO Go and HBO Now

HBO Max offers all HBO titles as well as original content solely found on the streaming service, while HBO’s other platforms, such as HBO Now and HBO Go, only offer HBO TV shows and movies.

According to the HBO Now support page, for anyone who subscribes to HBO Now through Apple or Google, the app will automatically be replaced by the HBO Max app via a software update. In those cases, users only need to agree to the “HBO Max Terms of Use and Privacy Policy” to access the new service.

HBO Max shows

The platform includes a lot of previously released HBO content — InsecureGame of Thrones, Sex and the City, Sopranos, Deadwood, Westworld, and Watchmen, for example, will all be on there. In addition to this, HBO Max will feature a selection of high-profile licensed content, including Friends, The Big Bang Theory, Rick & Morty, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and South Park.

The service will layer exclusive content on top of that. For example, the fabled “Snyder cut” of the 2017 movie Justice League, Friends reunion special, a Gossip Girl reboot, Seth Rogen’s American Pickle comedy, and of course the hyped Game of Thrones prequel. There’s also almost the entire Studio Ghibli catalogue. The popular Japanese animation studio has finally made its films available in one place. Check out the trailer for My Neighbor Totoro below. And if you want a full listing of everything coming to HBO Max head over to Variety.

Convinced? You can sign up for HBO Max at hbomax.com.

Words by Sarah Osei
Staff Writer