HBO's online streaming service, known as HBO Max, is getting re-branded again today. They're dropping the “HBO,” so the streaming platform will be known simply as “Max” from here on out.
HBO originally named its streaming service HBO Now, but it changed to HBO Max in May 2020. Just three years later, the service chose to re-brand once more. Twitter users recently learned the news, sparking a conversation about the platform's name change.
Why, Just Why?
Most users on the thread crave clarification about HBO Max's sudden change in branding. While some speculate that the shift has something to do with the current writer's strike in Hollywood, others are baffled.
— Cooper (@enlightenedcoop) May 23, 2023
It's Still HBO Max to Many
Others claim that they think the name change is silly and pointless. The website will shift from play.hbomax.com to play.max.com. This makes the branding slightly more streamlined. However, they added a new tagline to their logo that says less in more words than their previous logo.
Before, the logo read, “HBO Max,” but now, with the branding change, the logo reads “Max: the One to Watch for HBO.” Still, the difference is insignificant to many. One user says, “I'm still going to call it HBO Max.”
I’m still going to call it HBO max
— Kian Ameli (@KianAmeli) May 22, 2023
It’s going to forever be referred to as HBO Max so this is an interesting choice
— ladidai 📣 follow @heyhearusout (@ladidaix) May 23, 2023
Is Anything Else Changing?
This sudden shift caused many online users to wonder if HBO plans to change anything else, like their subscription tiers or pricing model.
Anyone know if there will be a price increase or anything for current members?
— Jordan (@Jdog_TheFenrir) May 22, 2023
Some claim the prices recently increased by one dollar per month for their Hulu-Max bundle. Others say the subscription tiers may be shifting. HBO announced that they're adding more content from Discovery to the platform, and they will offer a third subscription tier at a higher price point with more exclusive offers like more downloads and technological capabilities.
But mostly, people are cracking jokes like:
Actually they’ll be lowering the prices since you’ll now have a new unknown branded service instead of a strong brand
— @firstname.lastname@example.org (@E90171963) May 23, 2023
Is Max Too Generic?
While many believe the streaming service re-branded to streamline their brand, others believe “Max” is too generic of a name. Its customers and potential customers may confuse it with other brands who claimed the title Max years earlier.
Sweden where Max is alredy copyright of a fast food chain of the same name 😏
— Eddy segerlund (@EddySegerlund) May 23, 2023
Nothing like throwing away an established brand name because reasons.
— Joe "Balloon Man" Biden☠️🇺🇸 (@TrumpUndead) May 23, 2023
Oh, was HBO acquired by Cinemax? When did that happen?
— Samuel A. Perez (@terraspan) May 22, 2023
Poking Fun of the Decision-Makers
Because this branding change is happening amid the Hollywood writers' strike, some users joke that HBO's decision to change the name is because the writers aren't showing up for work. Others directly criticize the marketing team for what they believe was a poor decision.
A name change where you have to tell people it's HBO still because you dropped the HBO part seems very smart and good, I see the writers are still on strike
— Sh☭tGaming.com (@ShotGaming) May 22, 2023
The name was already perfect for streaming services even though they named it decades before we even imagined it. They nailed it by accident but now they wanna change it to max? Who is their marketing team? Sheesh.
— It literally says “well regulated” 📜 (@shawnschexy) May 23, 2023
HBO's Brand is Well Established No Matter What
On the other side of the coin, some online respondents argue that this change won't negatively impact HBO. HBO has been a household name since the 1980s, and this slight change won't confuse its customers too much, some argue.
Smh….Max is just an umbrella name for the service that houses all of Warner Bros. Discovery content. HBO will still be recognized and marketed for ads.
— Halloween Baby ‘91 🎃👻💀🦂 (@SheedHenryAli22) May 23, 2023
But What's the Point?
The bottom line is that the internet is confused about why this change in branding was necessary at all. They question the purpose, and most people come up blank.
So I don’t need to download anything if I’ve have HBO max literally I’m so damn confused what’s the point of all of this?
— Miya Deen (@DeenMiyadeen4) May 23, 2023
Why do you think HBO decided to rename its popular streaming service?
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Maya (she/they) is a queer entertainment and culture journalist. They cover interviews, reviews, roundups, news, and more. She loves horror, history, and creativity. They hope their writing both entertains readers and inspires them to think critically. Her favorite pastimes include needle felting, gaming, and drawing.