The streaming service HBO Max will launch May 27, AT&T’s WarnerMedia announced Tuesday, signalling that the so-called streaming wars won't subside because of the coronavirus pandemic. WarnerMedia had earlier said HBO Max would debut sometime in May, and it stuck to those plans Tuesday even if some of its planned programming has already been postponed due to the outbreak. HBO Max will be among the most expensive streaming services, at a price of $14.99 a month. But WarnerMedia is hoping a deep library of HBO hits, including Game of Thrones and Succession; DC blockbuster movies like Wonder Woman and The Dark Knight; and hit TV shows including Friends and South Park will be enough to lure viewers who face a blizzard of streaming options, the AP reports.
New original programming will also be a part of HBO Max, although the much-ballyhooed Friends reunion special has been delayed by the pandemic. Among the fresh offerings: Love Life, a scripted comedy with Anna Kendrick; the underground ballroom dance competition series Legendary; and Sesame Workshop's The Not Too Late Show with Elmo. WarnerMedia has said it will also steer some movies directly to HBO Max. AT&T is aiming for HBO Max to reach 80 million subscribers worldwide and 50 million in the United States by 2025. HBO currently has about 35 million US subscribers. It's unclear if the timing with help or hurt HBO Max. While viewership has surged across streaming services with so many quarantined in their homes, a record rise in unemployment will make the higher cost of HBO Max prohibitive for some.
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