HBO Max, the new streaming service from WarnerMedia, will arrive in Spain on October 26. The platform, which will replace the current offering, HBO España, will bring together all of the different universes from the entertainment giant in one place. It will do so via five major brands: movies and shows from the Warner Bros. archive, the HBO catalogue, super heroes from the DC Extended Universe, animation from Cartoon Network and in-house productions under the brand Max Originals. While the price of the service has yet to be defined, it will be “competitive,” according to the general manager of HBO Max in Europe, Christina Sulebakk.
Spain, Andorra and the Nordic countries will be the first to have access to this new platform, all on October 26. In 2022, Portugal will follow, as will Central and Eastern European territories.
As well as some of the featured content on HBO España, such as the Harry Potter movies, global TV hit Game of Thrones and sitcoms Friends and The Big Bang Theory, HBO Max will be seeking to attract an even-wider public with its catalogue. Among the categories that will be strengthened are mature animation shows from Adult Swim, as well as classic and independent cinema from TCM. There will also be increased offerings of reality shows.
‘Dune’ and ‘The Matrix: Resurrections’ will arrive directly on the streaming service after their run in theaters
The change will also include an improvement in the app and the webpage service, something that until now has been a weak point for the HBO España streaming service.
“But it’s important to offer local content to break into Spain,” added Sulebakk, who was speaking to EL PAÍS via videoconference on Tuesday from Copenhagen, Denmark. A number of in-house productions are being prepared, including García, a science fiction thriller that is an adaptation of the comic book of the same name from Santiago García and Luis Bustos, as well as Todo lo otro, a drama about a group of thirty somethings created by Spanish actress, scriptwriter and director Abril Zamora.
The new service will adopt the model already available to subscribers in the United States, where it was launched in 2020, and Latin America, which made its debut in May of this year. Current users of HBO España – which arrived in 2016 in a bid to compete with Netflix – will simply have to change from one app to the other. Vodafone will be keeping in place the deal it has with the platform, meaning that its current users via the telecoms company will not see an interruption in access.
From January 1, 2022, HBO Max will also be a distribution point for new movies from Warner. Dune and The Matrix: Resurrections will arrive directly on the streaming service after their run in theaters. They will not, however, be made available at the same time, as has happened in the United States in recent months due to the coronavirus crisis.
With so much content on offer to the viewer, HBO Max will not just be relying on algorithms to recommend shows and movies to users, Sulebakk explained, but will also be relying on curated lists put together by humans “that will ensure there is the local flavor” that the service wants to offer in Spain.
In the US, the platform costs between $10 and $15 (€8.50 to €12.70), depending on whether viewers want commercials or not. In October, the company will be announcing whether the Spanish service will follow the same system.
English version by Simon Hunter.