Skip to main content

HBO Max: everything you need to know about the streaming service

Hbo Max homescreen
HBO Max brings the best of HBO, plus new exclusive series and movies.

Since its launch in 2020, HBO Max has established itself as one of the major streaming services on the market. On one hand, it's HBO. But on the other hand, it's so much more.

HBO Max takes some of the biggest brands under the WarnerMedia umbrella and unites their content in one package, available pretty much everywhere you can find HBO. The service includes the legacy HBO content in addition to all kinds of shows from across the larger WarnerMedia world.

Here's everything you need to know about the HBO Max streaming service.

HBO Max price — how much does it cost?

HBO Max has two subscription plans.

  • HBO Max ad-free: the ad-free plan costs $14.99 per year (the same as a legacy HBO account). This plan gives you access to any and all content available on HBO Max.
  • HBO Max with ads: there are a couple of differences that come with HBO Max's cheaper $9.99 per year plan. You get the same access to library titles and HBO Max originals but, not only do you have to sit through the commercials, but there's also no 4K resolution and no ability to download content to watch offline.

What's the difference between HBO and HBO Max?

HBO, the legendary cable channel that we know and love is still there, the same as it ever was, offering incredible original content paired alongside the best of Hollywood. 

Now there's also HBO Max the streaming service, existing side by side with its predecessor. What do you get with HBO Max? It has everything that's on HBO, plus movies and shows from many of WarnerMedia's other brands, such as TBS, TNT, CNN, Adult Swim, classic movies from Turner Classic Movies and even the best kids programming — courtesy of Sesame Street, Cartoon Network, Cartoonito and Looney Tunes.

Can I get HBO Max for free?

Some folks will, yes. And we're not just talking about a free "upgrade" for those who are currently paying for the legacy HBO. Some people will get HBO Max without paying an additional dime.

So if you want to know how to get HBO Max for free we've got a full breakdown. But the short version is if you're paying AT&T money for wireless service, for home internet, or for one of its other video services, there's a good chance you can get. HBO Max for no extra charge. And some cable systems like Charter also are giving customers HBO Max for free.

Is HBO Max available in the UK?

Although HBO Max is gradually rolling out across the world, sadly the answer is no —HBO Max is not available in the UK, yet.

Most of the must-see shows that you'll find on HBO Max — from The Gilded Age to Euphoria, Winning Time to Succession — are currently available on Sky TV, which has a licensing deal to air HBO's shows. However, this does mean that HBO Max won’t launch in the UK (or Germany and Italy) until the Sky deal ends in 2025.

What shows are on HBO Max?

As we said, HBO Max is HBO... and then some. There are new movies and shows every month. We have a monthly guide to what's new on HBO, to help you keep track of everything that the streaming service has to offer. 

And, of course, there are the HBO originals you've come to know and love, like Westworld and Last Week Tonight as well as classic shows, like Friends. 

Some highlights currently on HBO Max are:

  • FBOY Island
  • The Flight Attendant
  • Gossip Girl
  • Hacks
  • It's a Sin
  • Love Life
  • The Other Two
  • Raised by Wolves
  • Starstruck

What movies are on HBO Max?

HBO Max gets the benefit of the Warner Bros. library, which means a vast array of cinematic goodness is available to stream from the comfort of your own home. After a short pandemic-induced period of releasing movies straight to streaming, Warner has reimposed its theatrical window meaning new 2022 movies will be released exclusively in movie theaters and it will be at least 45 days before they head to VOD or streaming. 

That said, 45 days isn't long to wait and WarnerMedia also announced they are producing some movies exclusively for HBO Max. These include Kimi (a thriller starring Zoe Kravitz) and Moonshot (a sci-fi rom-com starring Lana Condor and Cole Sprouse). 

Current movies on HBO Max:

Classic movies on HBO Max:

  • Clueless
  • Gone With the Wind
  • Beverley Hills Cop
  • Citizen Kane
  • The Maltese Falcon
  • The Wizard of Oz

How can I watch HBO Max?

If you can watch HBO Now, you can watch HBO Max. That's true for your phone and tablet, streaming devices like Roku, Apple TV, Android TV and more. That's true for your web browser. Basically you can watch HBO Max on any modern device. And if you're a current HBO Now subscriber, you'll automatically have access to. HBO Max.

Here's the full list of supported devices:

  • iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch with iOS 12.2 or newer
  • Android phones and tablets with Android 5 or newer
  • PC running Windows 7 or newer
  • Mac with macOS 10.10 (Yosemite) or newer
  • Google Chromebooks
  • A web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari)
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV (4th generation or newer)
  • PlayStation 4
  • Select Samsung Smart TVs
  • Xbox One
  • Chromecast
  • AirPlay
  • Roku

I head up the team at What to Watch, helping to grow our newest entertainment brand. I've worked in content strategy, production and audience development for leading film and TV companies for over 15 years. Always fascinated by digital trends, I'm currently obsessed with FilmTok. You can also find me extolling the virtues of Fringe, Smallville, rom-coms, Wong Kar Wei and Monty Don/Gardener's World.

With contributions from