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The combined HBO and Discovery app will reportedly just be called ‘Max’

The combined HBO and Discovery app will reportedly just be called ‘Max’


Ditching the HBO naming could make the service seem less prestigious, but Warner Bros. Discovery clearly wants to put all of its content on equal footing.

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An illustration of the HBO Max logo with “HBO” scribbled out.
Illustration: The Verge

When HBO Max and Discovery Plus merge into a single app next spring, the new platform will simply be called “Max.” That’s according to a report from CNBC, which notes that while a final decision hasn’t been made, Max “is the likely choice” and is being vetted by Warner Bros. Discovery’s legal team. The lawyers are also mulling over other potential names, according to the report, and the combined streaming service has been given the codename “BEAM” internally.

The reasoning for the “Max” name is simple: Warner Bros. Discovery wants HBO to fit into its huge stable of content without overshadowing programming from Discovery, DC Comics, Warner Bros., CNN, and more. CNBC’s report says the new platform will borrow ideas from Disney Plus and organize Warner Bros. Discovery properties into different “hubs” in the same way that Disney separates Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and so on.

Pricing for Max has not yet been disclosed. Maybe I’m just getting used to it, but that name really comes off like a proper noun referring to a person. It’s almost like we’re coming full circle back to Cinemax here. It definitely sounds less prestigious without the HBO part; CNBC says there have been deliberations within Warner Bros. Discovery about keeping it in the name, but the other side seems to be winning.

Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav aims to reach profitability with the combo service through increased subscriptions and also higher advertising revenue. HBO Max and Discovery Plus both offer monthly plans with ads that cost less than the ad-free subscriptions. The two services tallied nearly 95 million global streaming subscribers in Q3.