Major streaming service HBO Max may be changing its name. Here’s Why:
HBO Max is becoming a critical name in the “streaming war” era, but according to CNBC, several top execs with WarnerMedia don’t like the name. Now that the service has made a deal with Discovery, there’s a new opportunity in the works to have the service change its name.
While HBO Max was named to highlight the HBO content on its service, the streaming service has since evolved. There’s now way more non-HBO content than there used to be on the platform. HBO Max was originally named by AT&T CEO John Stankey and former WarnerMedia Chairman Bob Greenblatt, but it looks like its grown beyond that name.
HBO Max originally floundered a bit upon launch, but now its performing well. According to AT&T CEO John Stankey, the service is close to reaching its 70 million subscriber goal. This is 73 million less than Disney +, but it’s still more than Peacock, Paramount +, and even Hulu.
It’s especially impressive considering HBO Max’s price point. The streaming service charges $14.99 for an ad free HBO Max Subscription, which brings in more revenue than a lot of the competition they are also beating in subscriber count.
Talks of an HBO Max Name Change Started as Early as Last Year
According to CNBC, multiple executives including CEO Jason Kilar, wanted the name to change. But AT&T’s John Stankey wanted to keep it. Now, the merge with Discovery will give newly apointed company leader David Zaslav an opportunity to re-consider its name.
The merge with discovery further pushes the name from its HBO based roots. HBO Max already contains a surprising amount of children’s programming. But considering that HBO is known for its gritty and less censored work, the amount of children’s programming and now Discovery channel based content could potentially further push for a name change for branding purposes.
The deal with Discover won’t just include Discovery originals, either. It’ll come with HGTV, Food Network, and Animal Planet.
One current exec, who chose to remain anonymous, told CNBC about the issue.
“It’s really our cable bundle. It makes more sense for HBO to live as a sub-brand of a renamed service,” the exec explained. “This can all be fixed. David [Zaslav] will have a chance to fix it.”
Until regulators approve the deal, Discovery execs can’t speak with those at Warner about how to move forward. Executives from both companies are confident the deal will be approved by early next year. Zaslav has not yet said wehther or not he’ll pair Discovery content with HBO Max or keep them separate.
This wouldn’t be the first time a streaming service has opted for a more current re-brand. For instance, CBS all access became Paramount +.
Right now, it seems like all eyes are going to be on that approval before any final decisions are made.