HBO Max Is Dead As Future Of The Service Hangs In The Balance

HBO Max is changing its name to simply "Max" and making minor adjustments to the streaming service.

By Robert Scucci | Updated

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Over the past 13 years, we’ve seen a few different iterations of HBO attempting to maintain relevance in the streaming sector. 2010 brought us the now-defunct HBO Go, which eventually made way for HBO Now, a more robust streaming service that allowed users without cable or satellite hookups to access their favorite content on their smart devices. But according to Newser, HBO Max will be rebranding once again, simply calling the service “Max.”

If you’ve been up on your current events for all things streaming-related, you may recognize that this change was a long time coming. Since the merger with Discovery+, HBO Max has certainly been going through some growing pains in the form of restructuring, rebranding, and even show cancelations. But growing pains aren’t necessarily a bad thing, considering that HBO customers will see a deluge of new programming and other great features on the streaming service in the coming months.

A tiered pricing option will allow users to choose between lower-priced, ad-supported options, as well as ad-free options that will be a little more pricey at $20 a month. The higher-priced options will also boast higher video quality, among other user interface improvements that could potentially propel HBO Max, or Max, ahead of its competitors. The problem that HBO is currently facing is that it seemingly doesn’t have the appeal as a streaming platform to see an increase in paid subscribers, and this rebranding may be the solution they’ve been looking for.

HBO Max currently sits behind Netflix, Amazon, and Disney+ in paid subscribers, but the merger and subsequent rebranding could change everything for the better. President and CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zaslav, has gone on record stating that Discovery+ boasts a vast catalog of reality programming that should hopefully give HBO the edge it needs to push through the competition. Change is often met with resistance, but this change may be exactly what HBO needs to climb the rankings and become the streaming platform that people want to subscribe to.

Pennyworth was one of the HBO Max shows canceled during the merger.

And if there’s anything that HBO Max needs, is some positive press; the merger has caused a number of series to be canceled, including Gossip Girl, South Side, and Pennyworth. There have also been rumors circulating over the fate of the Game of Thrones franchise as some spinoffs have been put on hold, maybe indefinitely, as the granular details of the merger are ironed out. But this isn’t exclusively an HBO issue; shows get canceled, and some pilots never get green-lit.

While HBO Max is on the way out and Max makes an attempt to become a household name, we can only hope that we’ll be exposed to more quality programming once intentions and execution align on this project. Until some of the dust settles, it’s hard to tell if some cancelations are the result of the merger, the creative process running its course, or a combination of both of these things. There’s one thing we know for certain, however, and it’s that a rebranding is never done to make a product worse, and we hope that HBO Max, or Max, or whatever we may end up calling the service, will continue to put out the shows that we love to watch for years to come.