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Does HBO Max have a free trial?

HBO Max
HBO Max had a free trial period for a while but got rid of it in December 2020. (Image credit: CordCutters)

Best answer: Not anymore. HBO Max used to have a free trial period but got rid of that feature in December 2020.

  • The service: HBO Max ($14.99 a month)

What happened to the HBO Max free trial?

When HBO Max launched in the spring of 2020, it did so with great fanfare — and a free seven-day trial for those who wanted to kick the tires a little before buying into the $14.99-a-month service. (That price, by the way, is exactly the same as the legacy HBO service HBO Max is all but replacing.)

But 2020 — also known as the longest year in the history of years — changed a lot of things, particularly (if not also a little superficially compared to thousands of people dying a day in the United States from the global pandemic) in the entertainment industry.

With theaters closed for much of the year, and an extremely uncertain future ahead of them, WarnerMedia — which owns HBO Max and Warner Bros. Pictures, among other entities — announced in the fall that Wonder Woman 1984 would be released on HBO Max on the same day it would be released in theaters. And in December 2020 Warner Bros. announced that its entire 2021 slate of theatrical releases would see a simultaneous premiere on HBO Max, with a monthlong exclusive streaming period.

While we don't know for certain that losing the free trial on HBO Max was a concession to help slow the loss of revenue that comes with not having as many people in theaters, it certainly makes sense. (Even if that's of little consolation to the theater chains.)

But let's back up a second. What is HBO Max, exactly? It's all the legacy HBO content you know. The Larry Sanders Show . Game of Thrones . Veep . All the series and specials and movies and shows that you've watched for decades. But as the name implies, HBO Max means you get a lot more.

HBO and HBO Max are owned by WarnerMedia. And WarnerMedia owns a number of other content creators, including Warner Bros., and the old Turner properties, which include TBS, TNT, and truTV, among others. Plus you'll get select films from Turner Classic Movies, and the full D.C. Universe of shows. Or if anime is your thing, check out Studio Ghibli — there really is nothing else like it.

And it's the only place to watch Friends..

That's a ton of content from all kinds of genres — and we haven't even mentioned the new HBO Max original shows yet — that you'll get to try out for free for one week.

So there really is nothing to lose here.

Just don't expect a free trial anymore.