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HBO Max Release Date, Price, Shows & UK launch

Here's what to expect from HBO's upcoming (and third!) streaming service, HBO Max, including when it's launching, how much it'll cost, and what you'll be able to watch on it

HBO has announced that it will soon have a third streaming service - to sit alongside HBO Now and HBO Go - called HBO Max, which it no doubt hopes will rival the likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime.

HBO Max hasn't launched yet, but here's what we know so far about what to expect.

What Is HBO Max?
HBO Max will be a single streaming platform that will not only include all of HBO's own original content - from shows like Game of Thrones and Westworld to a range of movies - but also new original material and content from owner WarnerMedia's other services.

For example, we already know that Friends will be leaving US Netflix to move over the HBO Max, and that other '90s favourite The Fresh Prince of Bel Air will also be on the platform. HBO has also commissioned six new movies already, with plans for more films and TV shows, and it's using HBO Max as an excuse to ramp up its original content ambitions, with TV shows on the way including Dune: The Sisterhood, a Gremlins animated series, and a rom-com anthology series from Anna Kendrick called Love Life.

When Is HBO Max launching?
HBO hasn't announced a specific release date yet, but has said that the service will launch in 2020, so there's still a little while to wait before it's available. In the meantime, HBO Go and HBO Now are both around already - and we'll go into more on how the services differ below.

How Much Will It Cost?
Again, there's no pricing yet. However, HBO Now costs $14.99 per month, and HBO Max is set to include all that content and more, so it's a very safe bet that it'll be even pricier. We'd expect $19.99 per month, but we'll find out for sure closer to the launch.

Is HBO Max Coming To The UK?
HBO hasn't announced any release beyond North America, but in all honesty we'd be very surprised if HBO Max came to the UK. Neither of the companies other streaming services are available in the UK, and instead it has lucrative deals with Sky to make HBO content available on Sky Atlantic and Now TV - those deals mean that it's very unlikely we'll see HBO Max here.

There are already various ways to watch HBO from the UK though, and most of those will still apply when HBO Max launches, so there will almost certainly be some way or other to watch any HBO Max exclusives wherever you are.

HBO Max vs HBO Now vs HBO Go
There's one final potential confusion worth clearing up: the difference between HBO Now, HBO Go, and HBO Max.

For reasons best known to itself, HBO currently operates two separate streaming services which offer almost identical features and interfaces, with HBO Max now on the way. The main difference right now is how you pay for them: HBO Now is a standalone service that anyone can sign up to for $15 a month, while HBO Go is provided to existing HBO cable subscribers free of charge.

If you're not in the US you're almost certainly not paying for HBO on cable, so you won't be able to sign up for HBO Go anyway. However, if you are a US cable subscriber who's staying or living abroad, you should be able to access HBO Go through a VPN just as you can with HBO Now.

HBO Max will be closest to HBO Now, as it will be a standalone service, not limited to existing cable customers. However, as already mentioned it will also include additional content that isn't originally from HBO, along with all of the new exclusive shows and films.

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