Per a report from CNBC (opens in new tab), Warner Bros. Discovery's lawyers are currently vetting the name Max, which executives have chosen for the new service. If you're not following the story, an HBO Max and Discovery Plus merger is set to arrive in the spring of 2023. The combined service will likely cost more, though maybe not at first.
Yes, the new HBO Max and Discovery Plus service may be getting the kind of name you give to a new dog. The report states that the decision is not "finalized" yet, but that Max is the likely name Warner Bros. Discovery is going to go with. It doesn't seem like all are on board, as some "senior executives are still debating a final name," according to CNBC's report. Other names are also being vetted by legal, but Max seems to be the preferred in-house option.
Currently, the report says, the HBO Max and Discovery Plus service is being discussed under the code-named "BEAM."
And, as you might expect, this service will present content from HBO, Discovery, DC Comics and Warner Bros. as the entertainment conglomerate's own hubs, much like how Disney Plus presents Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic on its home page.
Analysis: Why HBO Max + Discovery Plus = Max works (and why it's worrisome)
What does "Max" mean to you? Well, aside from associations with people you may know, you probably identify "Max" with the word "maximum."
And that makes for a compelling way to sell content to people. By selling something called Max, WBD is able to make a sales pitch that it's giving users the most they can. That's one way to declare you have the best streaming service: combining all of the troughs: Warner Bros, HBO, Discovery, DC and so on, all in one app.
When you're trying to compete with a monolith like Netflix, which cranks out more content than seems possible, this makes sense. That said, Max also sounds like a service that could command a maximum price. And since the ad-free versions of both services total $25 per month, we're already a little concerned about how much we'll be asked to spend on Max.
|Header Cell - Column 0||HBO Max||Discovery Plus|
|Monthly ad-free price||$14.99||$6.99|
|Monthly ad-supported price||$9.99||$4.99|
At the same time, just look at the name "Max." It's HBO Max without the HBO. We've gone from HBO to HBO Now and HBO Go to HBO Max to ... Max? That could make those loyal to HBO feel a little concerned. We've seen HBO Max lose content this year, and nobody wants to see more of that.
Hopefully, these are just concerns that will never materialize. As long as Max is sold as having all the HBO and HBO Max we can watch right now, the name won't mean anything. That is, unless, the price hike is steep. We're keeping our eyes out for that.