Is 2023 officially the year of the rebrand? Well, it certainly looks like it. Following the lead of Elon Musk’s Twitter, Warner Bros. Discover has announced that its flagship streaming service, HBO MAX, has officially rebranded as Max.
Earlier this week, court documents confirmed that Twitter Inc was a thing of the past, as it merged with the nefarious-sounding X Corp. Apparently, rebrands are all the rage at the moment – new year, new me, and all that.
Typically, rebrands don’t occur two years into a platform’s existence; but the same can’t be said of HBO Max.
Officially launching in May of 2020, the Warner Bros. Discovery-owned service has played home to a stellar line-up of shows, including Succession, The Last of Us, The White Lotus, Game of Thrones’ House of the Dragon, Peacemaker, Euphoria, and more.
The platform also boasts exclusive streaming rights to some of the world’s most beloved shows – it’s a long list, but one that’s welcomed over 91 million users to the service.
Following an announcement last year that Discovery+ and HBO Max would be merging, along with a price hike.
Now, as part of an announcement event on April 12, which included teasers for a new Game of Thrones spin-off, The Batman spin-off, and a Harry Potter reboot series, the merge was made official; out with HBO Max, in with Max.
Given the strength of the HBO brand identity, with most users (myself included) calling the service “HBO,” the decision feels…off.
Twitter has been alive with memes, sarcasm, and critique concerning the change, which has already taken effect, with tweets sharing the StreamWithMax hashtag.
Interestingly enough, promotional materials include that Max is the “one to watch for HBO.” Again, the decision is utterly perplexing.
To add insult to injury, the platform has also revealed its new three-tier pricing, which includes an ad-enabled service for $9.99 a month, Ad-Free for $15.99, and Ultimate Ad-Free for $19.99.
While we’re all collectively scratching our heads at what an ultimate ad-free service might look like, with one user joking that it should remove product placement from shows and film altogether, I’m sure that the power’s that be at Warner Bros. Discovery are loose-headed, wondering how best to combat current discourse surrounding the change.
We may have seen the back of HBO Max for now, but honestly, something tells me Max isn’t going to stick.