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You May Be Eligible for Free or Upgraded HBO Max—Here’s How to Tell

HBO Max interface

Millions of people will qualify for free access to HBO’s new streaming service “HBO Max” when it launches in May 2020, including around 30 percent of existing HBO subscribers in the US. Here’s how to tell if you’re one of them.

Similar to HBO Now, HBO Max will allow customers to stream videos of HBO content, but HBO Max will also host content from many other WarnerMedia brands such as Turner Classic Movies, TBS, TNT, CNN, The CW, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, and many more. It’s said that the new platform will provide tons more content than HBO Now but it will cost the same $14.99 per month when it launches next year.

In many cases, if you’re already subscribed to HBO’s streaming service, you might qualify for receiving HBO Max without doing anything extra. This is likewise true for many folks who subscribe to AT&T services (AT&T is the parent company of WarnerMedia). Here’s a list of everyone who should already qualify for HBO Max:

  • Folks who subscribe to HBO Now through HBONow.com and are direct-billed by the streaming service, you’ll be automatically upgraded to HBO Max for the same $14.99 a month you’re already paying.
  • HBO subscribers who subscribe through AT&T services such as AT&T TV or U-Verse TV will get one year of HBO Max for free. This includes approximately 10 million people.
  • AT&T customers subscribed to premium video, mobile and broadband services will receive offers for bundles with HBO Max included at no additional charge.

Notably absent from that list are folks who subscribe to HBO Now through services other than HBONow.com, such as Amazon Prime. You’re out of luck and you’ll have to pay for a separate $14.99 subscription to access HBO Max. Likewise for anyone who subscribes to HBO through standard cable television providers like Comcast.


The decision to include many existing subscribers of HBO and AT&T services is part of a strategy that the companies hope will bring the service to 50 million HBO Max subscribers in the US by 2025 (70-90 million globally), which is also when executives are aiming for the service to become profitable. To help entice new subscribers, the platform is planning dozens of new original series to be launched over the coming years.

Source: The Verge

Matthew DeCarlo Matthew DeCarlo
Matthew DeCarlo has been in digital publishing for more than a decade, during which time he has authored and edited thousands of technology articles including industry news, hardware and software reviews, product buying guides, how-tos, editorials, in-depth explainers, trivia, and more. Read Full Bio »