The final competitor has entered the ring: HBO Max, the last of this recent push to streaming, has an official May 27 release date; set at the same $14.99 monthly rate as HBO Now, and with 10,000 hours of content for everyone in the family from prestige TV lovers, to anime fans, and even kids and documentary watchers.

Certainly though, you’re probably wondering how do I get this for free? Well, unless your answer is that you have a friend who’s already subbed, or qualifies for a free upgrade, you’ll want to keep reading to see what the platform has to offer, and if you’ll need to pay up or not to get access.

What can I watch at launch?

The first slate of originals includes:

  • Anna Kendrick’s Love Life, a scripted comedy from Lionsgate Television and Paul Feig’s Feigco Entertainment
  • On the Record, a documentary about sexual assault and rape accusations made against Russell Simmons
  • Legendary, a ballroom dance competition series
  • Craftopia, YouTube star LaurDIY’s new series
  • Looney Tunes Cartoons
  • And The Not Too Late Show with Elmo
  • The Friends reunion was hopeful to be among this list, but, due to COVID delays, that’s not happening as soon as would have been hoped.

Among later additions to the platform is the Studio Ghibli library (squeals), three series produced by J.J. Abrams, and pulls in all of HBO’s programming along with supplementary content from its massive coalition of WarnerMedia brands including CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth and Looney Tunes. So, if like me, you’re sad that you can no longer watch Parts Unknown on Netflix, here’s your reprieve!

What if I already have a subscription? Can I get HBO Max for free?

If it’s HBO Now, you may be in luck. As long as you’re billed directly through HBO, or you subscribe to HBO through one of AT&T’s TV services, you’ll get immediate access to the Max at launch for no extra fee.

You may also be getting a free sub to HBO’s new streaming platform if you use AT&T for internet, mobile or video. Specifically, The Verge is reporting that if you’re using any of the following services, you may be eligible: “AT&T Unlimited Elite’s wireless plan, AT&T Internet 1000’s internet plan, and AT&T TV Now Max, DirecTV Premier, AT&T U-Verse U400, and U450’s video packages.” Further, those who are Charter subscribers to Spctrum’s Silver or Gold packages, HBO Max will also be available at no extra charge.

And, if you’re not using any of those packages, but do have AT&T in some form, there could be a free trial in your future.

Also, if you just want to ride out your subscriptions on HBO Go or HBO Now, those will remain unchanged. In an FAQ, the company says “There are no plans to change your current HBO subscription. HBO will remain a stand-alone brand and service and will continue to feature award-winning series and movies.”

Check out the trailer below, and get ready for its May 27 launch.


  1. And to think AT&T-Warner killed FilmStruck to make way for this junk. Looks like the only classics they’ll show will be the most obvious and widely seen ones (Wizard of Oz, Casablanca). But if all you care about is recent franchise flicks, I guess this will be great.

    I hope the Warner Bros. library, which goes back to the 1920s, won’t be buried as Disney has buried the Fox library.

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