The fledgling streaming service makes yet another drastic move to improve.
By Drew Donato
In yet another drastic turn of events at Warner Bros. Discovery, HBO Max has a new name: “Max.”
Gone is the purple look of the old app in favor of a new blue theme. The logo also retains elements of the older channel for audience familiarity. Viewers can access it on May 23.
Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav announced at an April press event that the channel will be rebranding in an attempt to reach a “broader audience.” Apparently, the “HBO” in the name was what turned off more families from subscribing, hence the change to just “Max” to appease more general audiences.
Despite this, the HBO content will remain, as will other content from the older HBO Max channel and Discovery+. Surprisingly, Discovery+ is not shutting down and will continue to run alongside the new channel.
A source told the Wall Street Journal that the decision to keep the app running “is part of an effort to avoid risking losing a significant chunk of the app’s 20 million subscribers who might not want to pay the higher price to access that content.”
Existing HBO Max subscribers will retain access to the new Max channel, including those who subscribe through cable providers. Older profiles will be retained, as will all prior viewing history.
In regards to the “family” appeal, Zaslav has crowned such legacy brands as Cartoon Network and “Looney Tunes” as pillars for the new channel. Yet, as of the time of this article’s writing, numerous Cartoon Network shows are set to leave HBO Max soon, including “Dexter’s Laboratory” and “Ben 10.”
It is unclear if the licenses need to be renewed, but given WB’s culling of various programs within the past year, it may look concerning to fans familiar with the company’s content-removal drama.
As the May 23 launch approaches, the future for Max and Warner as a whole appears to be uncertain. There is an ongoing writers’ strike shutting down much of the entertainment industry, and many have expressed skepticism at how well the channel will do amidst WB’s past struggles.
Despite these concerns, Warner is making it clear that they are very ambitious, but have a long way to go.
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