HBO Max will be free for some AT&T subscribers when it launches on May 27

Key Points
  • AT&T's WarnerMedia is launching its HBO Max streaming service on May 27. 
  • The service will cost $14.99 per month. 
  • It's the latest in a slew of new streaming services that have launched in recent months or will launch soon.
John Stankey
Stephen Desaulniers | CNBC

AT&T's WarnerMedia is launching its HBO Max streaming service on May 27, the company announced Tuesday. AT&T customers who currently pay for HBO through AT&T will get access to HBO Max for free.

If you don't already pay for HBO through AT&T, HBO Max will also be free for people who pay for any of these AT&T services:

  • AT&T's Unlimited Elite wireless plan.
  • AT&T's Internet 1000 plan.
  • AT&T TV Premier (launching after HBO Max.)
  • DirecTV Premier.
  • U-verse U400, U450 and U450 Latino.

Customers on other plans will be eligible for up to a free year of service.

The service will otherwise cost $14.99 per month. That's the same price as HBO Now, the standalone streaming service that only hosts HBO shows and movies. AT&T's hope is to convert its current HBO subscribers to the broader selection HBO Max will offer.

HBO Max is set to debut with 10,000 hours of content, including movies, original content and classic shows. The company said it will continue to roll out new content throughout the year. In addition to HBO shows, HBO Max will include shows and movies from across WarnerMedia's portfolio, including Warner Brothers movies, TBS and TNT shows and "Sesame Street." It will also be the only place you can stream reruns of "Friends."

HBO Max is one of the latest to join the crowded streaming market, with the recent launch of Disney+ and Comcast's Peacock set to launch broadly on July 15. The companies are looking to disrupt the well-established video companies like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.

HBO's announcement comes hours before its rival Netflix is set to report first-quarter when markets close Tuesday. Netflix's earnings will give investors a look as to how the company is handling its competition and dealing with production slowdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic.

HBO Max has said it plans to spend $4 billion over the next three years building the platform. It expects annual incremental revenue, from subscriptions, content and ads, to hit $5 billion by 2025. 

Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.

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