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HBO vows to leave HBO Now alone after its Max streaming service is launched

Just when you thought you had enough streaming services, here comes HBO Max. The new streamer is bringing ‘Friends’ to the table, and it’s independent of the other HBO services.

HBO vows to leave HBO Now alone after its Max streaming service is launched

“How many streaming services will finally be enough?” is the question a nation of entertainment addicts and their benefactors will be grappling with well into the future. Tuesday’s news begs another question, though: How many HBO-branded streaming services will be enough?

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WarnerMedia announced earlier today that the Netflix-challenger that the AT&T-owned conglomerate is bringing to the great streaming wars will be called HBO Max. Not to be confused with the digital arm of HBO subscriptions, HBO Go, or its à la carte streaming service, HBO Now.

Or, um, sister channel Cinemax, or its streaming service Max Go.

“Anchored with and inspired by the legacy of HBO’s excellence and award-winning storytelling, the new service will be ‘Maximized’ with an extensive collection of exclusive original programming (Max Originals) and the best-of-the-best from WarnerMedia’s enormous portfolio of beloved brands and libraries,” the company announced in a press release.

In addition to all of HBO programming and . . . (sigh) Max Originals, the service will have additional content from “Warner Bros., New Line, DC Entertainment, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, The CW, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes, and more.” It will also be the streaming home of Friends, a show people inexplicably still go crazy for even though it’s 2019, there are a gazillion new things to watch, and Friends is still Friends. Netflix dropped a cool $100 million last December for rights to the David Schwimmer-starring show through 2020, so get it there while it lasts.

So, how will you augment your HBO Now subscription to include Max? Will it happen automatically?

Here’s what a representative from HBO told Fast Company: “Nothing will happen with HBO Go or HBO Now. HBO Max will be a distinct offering. As a distinct offering, you would not automatically become a Max subscriber.”

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WarnerMedia hasn’t announced how much the service will cost yet, though executives have suggested it’ll be a little more expensive than HBO Now, which costs $15 a month. It expects to launch in spring 2020, so between now and then, you can sock away plenty for your rapidly ballooning streaming budget.

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