HBO Max is ready for launch.
WarnerMedia’s long-anticipated streaming service–which has already scooped up streaming rights for hot commodities like Friends and Studio Ghibli’s entire catalog–will bow May 27, the media conglomerate announced today.
It also revealed the service’s price–$14.99 per month, which is higher than pretty much all of HBO Max’s competitors: Netflix is $8.99, Hulu is $5.99, Disney+ is $6.99, Amazon Prime Video comes with a $12.99-per-month Prime subscription, newly released Quibi is $4.99, and when it launches in July, Peacock will be $4.99 per month.
Last but not least, WarnerMedia also gave details of HBO Max’s first six house-made programs, called Max Originals.
One of those is Craftopia, a kids crafting competition show hosted and executive produced by digital star LaurDIY, who has 8.9 million subscribers on YouTube and nets around 10 million views per month. As her channel name suggests, the creator has built her platform around do-it-yourself projects like clothing hacks, made-at-home beauty products, and home makeovers. With Craftopia, she’ll lay out challenges for groups of teenagers and preteens, who must then gather supplies as quickly as possible and construct DIY projects to her specifications.
OMGMMGMGOFMMFGOMFMFGGGGGGFOFMFOFMFOMGOMFG THE TRAILER JUST DROPPED FOR CRAFTOPIA I AM SCREAMINGGGGGGGGG https://t.co/CevXkHlQNQ
— lauren ✄ (@laurDIY) April 21, 2020
Other originals include Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect) and Paul Feig’s (Bridesmaids) comedy series Love Life; On the Record, a documentary about sexual assault allegations against music industry executive Russell Simmons; Legendary, an underground ballroom dance competition featuring celebrity guest judges like Law Roach, Jameela Jamil, Leiomy Maldonado, and Megan Thee Stallion; and new Looney Tunes cartoons as well as a new Sesame Street series called The Not Too Late Show with Elmo.
As The Verge notes, a number of HBO Max’s other planned originals have been delayed due to COVID-19-caused production shutdowns. But that doesn’t mean HBO Max will be thin on content. WarnerMedia is stocking the service with beloved TV shows and films from all its subsidiaries, including Warner Bros., HBO, CNN, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, and Rooster Teeth.
At launch, it’ll offer every single DC Universe movie, the Criterion Collection, HBO hits like Game of Thrones and Westworld, Rooster Teeth’s mecha anime gen:LOCK, and swathes of cartoons and anime. In total, its opening catalog will comprise more than 2,000 films and dozens of TV series.
Ahead of May 27, WarnerMedia is working to secure more distribution deals for HBO Max, per The Verge. The service will be offered in a standalone app, like its competitors, but–thanks to deals already secured–will also be available as an add-on to YouTube TV and as a paid channel through cable company Charter Communications.
WarnerMedia currently estimates HBO Max will have 50 million U.S.-based subscribers by 2024–a figure Disney+ hit in less than six months.
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